Risks And Consequences
There are a lot of health risks when a young girl becomes pregnant before she is ready to have a child. Some of the risks are:
- late or no antenatal care (care for the unborn baby) because of hidden pregnancy
- attempted unsafe abortion, which can affect fertility or cause severe harm and even death
- difficulty in giving birth because the pelvis is too small for the baby to be born
- increased risk of baby being born underweight
- risk of death for both mother and baby.
- There can also be social and emotional problems associated with young girls becoming pregnant, including:
- bringing shame to the family
- low self-esteem
- parents not wanting to support mother and baby
- no money to look after the child
- difficulty in going back to school or getting a good job
- being forced into marriage*
- the boy who made the girl pregnant running away and not wanting to look after the baby or the girl.
*In Fiji, it is against the law for any person under the age of 18 to be married, even if they choose to do so.
Ectopic pregnancy is when the egg implants outside the womb. This occurs in 2% of all pregnancies and is a leading cause of maternal mortality. A ruptured ectopic pregnancy is a surgical emergency. If you are newly pregnant or have missed a period and experience bleeding and unusual pain with associated nausea, diarrhoea or abdominal tenderness – go to the hospital immediately.
Miscarriage is the natural loss of a pregnancy within the first 20 weeks.If you are pregnant and experiencing heavy bleeding, or, lighter bleeding but over an extended period of time , see your doctor immediately. Being overweight or underweight , smoking, drinking or having a poor diet may contribute to your risk of having a miscarriage.