Having a baby demands a lot of responsibility from the moment you fall pregnant! If you are young and your body is still developing, pregnancy may cause some health problems for both you and your baby. It is best for a girl’s body to be fully developed before she falls pregnant.
What could go wrong?
If you fall pregnant when you’re still going through puberty, you and your baby will compete for the nutrients in what you eat (because your body is growing and the baby wants to grow). Because of this, you both could suffer from:
- Weight loss
- Premature birth (when your baby is born too early) or stillbirth (when it’s born not alive)
- Fistula (a tear in the wall of your vagina that allows urine or feces to constantly leak)
Babies are forever
You will have a lot to think about for your baby’s future as well as your own. For example, have you thought about…
- Whether your boyfriend, husband or family will be able to support you?
- The costs of having a baby and raising a child?
- How you’re going to finish school?
- Who will look after your baby if you need to go back to school or get a job?
- What it means to be a mom as a teenager?
Having a baby is for life. Girls who finish school first get further in life. They are more likely to get the skills to support themselves, their children and their whole family. Children of educated and mature women (for example, 20 years and above) are more likely to survive and be educated. Make sure that when you have a baby, you are prepared yourself and can offer your child a better life!
If you are pregnant, you do have choices. Visit your government or private health facility or clinic for advice. Or call Childline on 3900900.