Teen Pregnancy and the Risk of Asphyxia Neonatorum

Teen Pregnancy and the Risk of Asphyxia Neonatorum

As most pregnant women know, prenatal health is vitally important to ensuring your newborn is given every opportunity of a healthy start in life. For many pregnant teenager girls, the personal focus of prenatal health is often centered on adequate diet and exercise. However, it is also important that these teenage mothers work to prevent other pregnancy related complications so as to reduce the risk for neonatal complications such as asphyxia neonatorum.

Asphyxia neonatorum is a complication that occurs at birth. For pregnant girls under age 16, there is a great risk of delivering a newborn who will suffer complications such as asphyxia neonatorum, also known as birth asphyxia. Marked by the inability to breathe normally, within one minute after birth, infants who are born with asphyxia neonatorum may be at risk for losing adequate blood supply to the brain resulting in additional complications including cerebral palsy or even death.

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For teen mothers it is important to provide prenatal education and manage health complications including diabetes, anemia, hypertension and even women with negative Rh factors. Additionally, teen mothers who smoke or consume alcohol are also at risk for giving birth to an infant who may suffer from asphyxia neonatorum.

While there is no way to predict if a newborn will suffer from asphyxia neonatorum, all hospitals and birthing centers are equipped with the proper equipment to resuscitate a newborn should asphyxia neonatorum becomes an issue of concern. Upon birth, the nursing staff will check and calculate the Apgar score of the infant to ensure the vital functions are normal. It is when the teen mother’s infant shows and Apgar score of 0 to 3 that a concern of asphyxia neonatorum should be addressed.

In addition to preparing a teen mother for the proper prenatal health, it is also important to prepare her for the potential complications that may arise from simply having a baby at such a young age. Preparing the pregnant teen for the signs and risks associated with asphyxia neonatorum will work to ensure she does not expect unrealistic outcomes, especially if the teen mother suffers from complications such as gestational diabetes, hypertension and even anemia during pregnancy.

As with any prenatal health issue, the key to the most optimal outcome lies in the education and regular medical attention during pregnancy. For pregnant females under age 16, the risk for giving birth to an infant with complications, such as asphyxia neonatorum, is quite significant and, as a result, the teen mother should be well versed in the anticipated outcome following the birthing process.