Table of contents:
- The Dangers of Getting Pregnant at a Young Age
- How to Avoid He alth Problems During Pregnancy at a Young Age
- How to prevent pregnancy at a young age
The phenomenon of pregnancy at a young age is still one of the most common problems in the world, including Indonesia. Not only social and economic impact, pregnancy at a young age is also not good for the he alth of women who are still teenagers
Based on data compiled by UNICEF, the number of teenage marriages in Indonesia is still quite high. In 2018, it is estimated that at least 1.2 million women were married before the age of 18. In fact, about 432,000 of them are already pregnant at the age of 18 years or younger.
Pregnancy at a young age is a serious problem, because most teenagers feel physically and mentally not ready to get pregnant and take on the responsibilities and roles of parents.
The Dangers of Getting Pregnant at a Young Age
Compared to women who get pregnant at the age of 20–30 years, teenage girls who get pregnant too young or under 18 are more at risk of various he alth problems.
The following are some of the risks or impacts that can occur in adolescents who become pregnant at a too young age:
1. Death of mother and baby
The younger a woman is when she is pregnant, the higher the risk for various problems during pregnancy. This risk is not only dangerous for her he alth, but also for the fetus in the womb.
Adolescent women's bodies are also still growing and are generally not ready for childbirth, for example, because the pelvis is narrow.
In addition, due to embarrassment or pregnancy out of wedlock, not a few young women cover up or keep their condition a secret, so that the he alth of their bodies and fetuses is not monitored. These problems can increase the risk of death of adolescents who are pregnant at a young age and also their fetuses.
2. Abnormalities in babies
Women who get pregnant at a young age sometimes do not get support from their families or even their partners. Sometimes, pregnancy can also be unwanted.
This may result in them not receiving adequate care. In fact, pregnancy is an important period that requires good care and preparation.
A research shows that there are still many pregnant teenagers who are malnourished. Insufficient nutritional needs can increase the risk of the fetus experiencing various disorders, such as congenital diseases, premature birth, or even miscarriage.
3. Pregnancy complications
Women who get pregnant at a young age are at higher risk of pregnancy complications, such as high blood pressure and preeclampsia. If not treated properly, this condition can be dangerous for both mother and fetus.
4. Low birth weight baby
Premature birth is one of the most common problems for women who get pregnant in their teens or are too young.
Please note that babies born prematurely have a higher risk of experiencing various he alth problems, such as respiratory, digestive, vision problems, and growth and development problems.
In addition, babies born to mothers who are still teenagers are also at risk for being born with low birth weight. Babies born prematurely or with low birth weight generally require special care. If the condition is severe, the baby will also need to be treated in the NICU.
5. Sexually transmitted diseases
Teenagers who have sex at a young age are more at risk of suffering from sexually transmitted diseases, such as HIV, chlamydia, syphilis, and herpes. This could be due to their ignorance or immaturity in their mindset about safe sex, including the importance of using condoms.
Untreated sexually transmitted diseases can cause various complications in pregnancy, ranging from genetic disorders in the fetus, birth defects, premature birth, to fetal death in the womb.
In addition, in the long term, sexually transmitted diseases can also cause pelvic inflammation and damage to the fallopian tubes, thereby increasing the risk of an ectopic pregnancy.
6. Postpartum depression
Adolescent girls are more at risk for postpartum depression because they feel unprepared, especially if they don't get support from family or partners.Depression puts them at risk of not being able to care for their baby properly or even intending to throw away or end the baby's life.
Adolescent girls who experience unplanned pregnancies also often face pressure from various parties in various forms. For example, the urge to have an abortion, the fear of what society thinks, or the worry about financial ability to take care of the baby in the future.
How to Avoid He alth Problems During Pregnancy at a Young Age
Although the risk of getting pregnant and giving birth at a young age is very high, there are ways that can be done so that the he alth condition of the mother and fetus is maintained, including:
Regular consultation with obstetrician
In order to maintain the he alth condition of the mother and fetus, it is important to undergo regular obstetrical examinations to the obstetrician or midwife. It is also important to detect early if there are certain abnormalities or conditions in the fetus.Thus, the handling steps can be taken immediately.
Stay away from illegal drugs, liquor, and cigarettes
The growth and development of the fetus in the womb is also influenced by the lifestyle that is lived every day. Therefore, pregnant women need to stay away from alcohol, stop smoking, and avoid the use of illegal drugs so as not to endanger the he alth of themselves and the fetus.
Fill nutritional intake
When pregnant, the body needs a lot of nutrition. Therefore, pregnant women need to have a he althy diet. Pregnant women also need pregnancy supplements that contain a variety of nutrients, including vitamins, folic acid, and iron so that the he alth condition and growth and development of the fetus can be maintained.
Search for support
Not only women who get pregnant at a young age, pregnant women who are old enough also need to get good support. Therefore, do not feel ashamed, doubtful, or afraid to seek a good support system during pregnancy.
If it is difficult to find help, try to find a counselor or counseling group who can help you get information or make decisions about pregnancy and find people who want to adopt your baby.
How to prevent pregnancy at a young age
Pregnancy at a young age can be prevented by getting adequate information and knowledge about sexual and reproductive he alth. In order to prevent pregnancy at a young age, parents and teenagers need to equip themselves with the following information:
1. Undergoing KB (family planning) program
Family planning is a government program that aims to control fertility and pregnancy rates, including for adolescents under the age of 18. Unfortunately, there are still many women who do not use contraception to prevent pregnancy.
Not only can prevent pregnancy, the use of contraception such as condoms can also prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases.
2. Get adequate education
A good education will make teenagers more careful in making decisions and taking care of themselves. Education about sexuality or sex education also needs to be given from an early age, not only for girls, but also for boys.
By knowing how the process of pregnancy and the risks of free sex, every teenager can make a decision to stay away from promiscuity.
3. Make decisions for yourself
Many young girls have not realized that their bodies and lives are their own and their own responsibility. In addition, there are still many young girls who cannot make decisions about when they will have children or how to take care of their reproductive system.
Therefore, it is important to give sexual and reproductive he alth education to adolescents, especially adolescents who have reached puberty. By obtaining adequate information, adolescents are expected to avoid sexual relations before marriage, especially sex under coercion.
Teenagers who are victims of sexual violence can also report to the nearest Indonesian Child Protection Commission (KPAI).
Respect yourself and enrich yourself with knowledge about sexual and reproductive he alth is an important step to avoid getting pregnant at a young age. If you still have questions about the dangers of getting pregnant at a young age and its prevention, don't hesitate to consult a doctor.