Teen Pregnancy and Nutrition




The biological age for a “mature” woman is 18 years of age.

A woman of this age and older physically is able to handle the demands of a growing baby, along with delivery.

Realistically though, the best success is between the ages of 25-34 years old.

The uterus of a teenager is often not structurally nor functionally fully developed. The teenage uterus would not respond to the hormones produced naturally by the ovaries in the same way as a fully mature uterus.

The risks of a teen pregnancy are:

• Preterm birth
• Low birth-rate babies

The complications are:

• Infections
• Reduced intelligence
• Many babies born to teen-agers do not “catch up” as they mature.
o Requiring special attention
o Special schooling
o Special healthcare

Many of the problems of health care in Teen Pregnancies are due to insufficient nutrient intake.

The need for vitamins and minerals are at an all-time high for the teenage girl, add that to the demands of a growing fetus and the struggle between the baby’s needs and the teen mother’s need begin.

The struggle for nutrients can:

• Increase the uterine blood flow in the 3rd trimester
• Reduce availability of nutrients in the mother’s blood
• Limit the transmission of nutrients from the mother to the baby, which interferes with the baby’s development, and birth weight.

To compound matters, teenagers tend to fill-up on less nutrient-rich foods such as:

French fries, soda pop, chips, candy, etc.

The average teenager eats food too high in fats and salt, and too low in fiber and nutrients. Teens that eat foods that are processed and highly sweetened are at high risk for low birth-weight babies who are an elevated risk for disease and death.

Calcium-rich foods 4-5
Vegetables 6-7
Fruits 4-5
Whole Grains 8-9
Extra-lean Meats and Legumes 4-5
Quenchers 6-8

Teens tend to loose baby-fat quicker
Eat well for your own health and for baby’s
You should be gaining at least 24 pounds, if you were overweight before pregnancy
and up to 30 lbs if you were underweight prior to pregnancy.



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