As a pregnant teen-ager, you have a higher risk of:
To help prevent these problems for you and your baby, be sure to eat right, get enough calories in your diet, and gain the right amount of weight for your body type. This is not the time to worry about gaining weight. Do not smoke during pregnancy. Also, be sure to avoid alcohol and illegal drugs, and don't take over-the-counter medications unless you have discussed them first with your health care provider. Keep all of the regular checkups with your doctor, so he or she can make sure things are progressing well for you and the baby. It is important to know that you and your baby are growing normally.
Labor that starts before your 37th week of pregnancy (three weeks before your due date) is called premature or early labor. It's important to know the signs of premature labor. Most babies born prematurely do well, but sometimes they have problems that can last for life, such as cerebral palsy or learning problems. Getting regular checkups, not smoking while you're pregnant, and letting your health care provider know if any of the following signs of labor are happening are the most important things you can do to help prevent having a premature baby. Call your doctor or health clinic right away if you have any of the following during your pregnancy:
Preeclampsia (also called toxemia or pregnancy-related hypertension) is the development of swelling, high blood pressure and protein in your urine during pregnancy. Pregnant teens have a greater chance of developing preeclampsia during their pregnancy. Symptoms include:
Though some swelling of the feet and ankles is normal during pregnancy, call your doctor if you notice swelling in your face or hands.
Teen mothers are much more likely to have low birth weight babies, which can result in serious medical problems, including underdeveloped organs leading to lung, vision, intestinal and other problems.
Smoking during pregnancy is the most common reason for a low birth weight baby and is one one of several habits that you need to control. Not eating right, not gaining enough weight and not taking regular multivitamins are some other reasons teen mothers have low birth weight babies. Drinking alcohol and taking certain drugs during pregnancy can also result in a low birth weight baby.