A review of the risks and consequences of adolescent pregnancy

Abstract. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the risks and consequences of young maternal age on both the mother and the newborn. STUDY DESIGN: A comprehensive literature review on the risks and consequences of adolescent pregnancy was performed. RESULTS: Young maternal age is associated with an increased risk of maternal anemia, infections, eclampsia and preeclampsia, emergency cesarean delivery, postpartum depression and inadequate breastfeeding initiation. Infants of teenage mothers are more likely to be premature and have a low birth weight, and are at an increased risk for respiratory distress syndrome and autism later in life. CONCLUSIONS: Adolescent pregnancy is a prevalent phenomenon associated with increased risks of both maternal and neonatal complications during and after pregnancy. Being aware of such adverse outcomes is imperative to improving prenatal and perinatal care. Pregnancy progression can also be influenced by the mother's culture, environment, and economic status; advancement in which may be a possible course for future improvement.

*Corresponding Author: 

Corresponding author: Dr. Anwar H. Nassar, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, American University of Beirut Medical Center, PO Box: 11-0236, Riad El Solh 1107 2020, Beirut, Lebanon. Tel.: +961 1 350000 ext. 5604; Fax: +961 1 370829; E-mail: an21@aub.edu.lb.