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Is your teenager old enough to have her baby?

Is your teenager old enough to have her baby?

You're probably not waiting for that day when you discover that your teenage daughter is pregnant. It is normal for you to be worried about your teenager's whereabouts and her activities recently. Here's what you have to know about teenage pregnancy and ways of dealing with it!

Teenage pregnancy refers to pregnancy in a female under the age of 20 (when the pregnancy ends). It normally takes place around the ages 12 or 13, when a female becomes potentially fertile. Teenage pregnancy depends on a number of societal and personal factors. A large percentage of teen pregnancies happen in teenagers exposed to abuse and domestic violence, have adverse childhood experiences, find the need to keep up with peer pressure or due to various personal problems. Teenage pregnancy rates vary between countries because of differences in levels of sexual activity, general sex education provided and access to affordable contraceptive options.

Adolescent pregnancies are associated with a great deal of risk factors. Since most teenage pregnancies are unintentional and happen out of being reckless, many of them do not have support from their families and hence don't receive good prenatal care. Teenage pregnant women have a higher risk of developing hypertension, experiencing post partum depression, having low birth babies and having pre-term deliveries. Teenage pregnancies also happen to be the cause for the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.

As parents, here is what you can do:
• Make your teen feel special and loved
• Set an example for your child. Be clear about your own sexual values and attitudes. Do not confuse your child. Speak to them about your views and how you feel about them and what you expect of your teenager.
• Express your love, affection and appreciation clearly and often.
• Know what your teenager is watching, reading and listening to. Talk to them about sex and relationships. Be open to their views and ideas about the same.
• Self-esteem needs to be learned the old-fashioned way - Feeling good about yourself and what you can do.
• Be supportive and interested in what interests your teenager. Involve yourself in their activities, hobbies and achievements. Show them that you love to be a part of their lives.
• Engage yourself in activities that interest your child. Share experiences with them. This can improve your communication with them and keep them open to discuss any topic with you.
• Help your teenagers have options for the future that are more attractive than early pregnancy and parenthood.
It's a delicate relationship that you and your teenager share and it is important for you to nurture it in the right way and take care of it well.....


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