According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, teen pregnancy rates have declined almost continuously over the last 20 years. But there are still many pregnant teenagers in the US, all of whom need to pay special attention to their health over the course of their pregnancy.
Good nutrition is the first to-do for any pregnant teenager. Dr. Lynn Yee of Northwestern Memorial Hospital says, ” As a teenager, there are a lot of different sort of medical things going on with your body and as a teen is growing, one of the biggest things we worry about is nutrition. People having good access to food is part of our nutritional awareness, especially when we have a woman who is pregnant as a teenager.”
Dr. Yee also urges pregnant teens to take care of their emotional health. For many this means finding the right support system at home, school, and through your doctor. She says, “I think one of the most important things about being a teen mom who might be facing a pregnancy that`s a surprise is seeking resources and getting care early. And then I think beyond that, there`s a lot of things in our community that can help…all sorts of things could really help you have good health and be in a great state to have a new family when you might not have been expecting it at that moment.”
After the baby’s birth, Dr. Yee believes it’s crucial for the new mothers to have a birth control method in place. Teen moms should talk to their doctors to find the best options moving forward.
If you’re a teen mom, Dr. Yee recommends checking out the following resources.