A teenage pregnancy can have a huge impact on the mental health of the expectant mother. Every year, there are millions of babies born to teen mothers and most of them are unplanned pregnancies. Teenage pregnancy can change the life of a young mother. This is going to put the teen mother or a young girl in a situation where she should take care of herself and also another life.
Giving birth in the teenage years does not bring just physical changes in a teenager, but also brings a lot of mental changes. They will be exposed to a lot of physical, financial, academic and mental challenges.
Effects of a teenage pregnancy on mental health are listed below:
- Baby blues: The baby blues are usually experienced in the early stage after delivery. Sadness, mood swings, feeling overwhelmed, anxiety, trouble eating, difficulty in concentrating on something, trouble sleeping and much more are the signs of the baby blues.
- Denial: Denial is the first mental issue that you face when you see positive pregnancy test results. Most of the time, teenagers are not ready for this and when they see it is happening, they do not accept it. They try to avoid the situation and do not keep their family posted about it. They do not seek proper medical help. They could end up with complications in their pregnancy due to lack of medical care.
- Guilt: A feeling of guilt starts developing in the pregnant teenager. There can be many reasons behind the guilt such as religious beliefs, or a feeling of letting down their parents. It is important to deal with this kind of psychological condition as soon as possible. Talking to someone who can guide the expectant teenage mother and who they can trust if they cannot speak to their family is important.
- Narcissism: Not paying attention to the world around such as education, family or friends. In fact, not finding any time for all this when you have a new baby at home or when you are pregnant.
- Losing bonding with baby: Post delivery, the new mother might find it difficult to bond with the baby. This could be due to the age factor or due to the feeling of guilt. With time the loss of bonding with the baby can affect both the mother and the child.
- Self esteem problems: Post-delivery, when you go back to school, your friends may not be ready to accept you back into their lives and that can stop you from going to school. This would have an effect on your education and would lead to self-esteem issues.
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