Author(s): Anita Valsaladevi, Adma Harshan Sathyabhama
Younger age pregnancy of the group 18 years to 19 years is characterized by adverse maternal outcomes like anaemia, hypertension, low birth weight babies and intra uterine growth restriction. A comparative retrospective study on the obstetric outcome in teenage mothers and older women was carried out. Data for the study was obtained from a hospital where considerable teenage pregnancy is reported. Evidence obtained in this study regarding antenatal complications and birth weight shows that good antenatal care and support by family and caregivers can bring down the incidence of anaemia and low birth weight babies in teenage pregnancy. The aim of the study is to compare the obstetric outcome of pregnancy in teenagers and older women in a tertiary care hospital.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
This was a retrospective study conducted in Government Medical College, Manjeri, Malappuram, Kerala, India for a period of three months from March 2017 to May 2017. This is a teaching hospital with annual delivery rate of around 3500. Obstetric outcome of young mothers in the age group 18 -19 years were compared to older women (20-38 years) delivering in the same hospital. A total of 843 deliveries were considered, out of which 87 belonged to teenage group. They were compared in terms of social and educational data, age, number of pregnancy, antenatal care, complications, mode of delivery, birth weight, episiotomy and perineal tears.
The incidence of teenage pregnancy was fairly high. (10.3%) Most of them were in their first pregnancy. A significant number of teenage pregnant mothers (72.4%) had completed higher secondary education as compared to (27.6%) in older women. Contrary to many prior studies, teenage pregnancies showed less anaemia (6.9% versus 12%) and lesser incidence of low birth weight babies in comparison to older women. Preterm birth was higher in teenage group (33.1%) and incidence of hypertensive disorders and intrauterine growth restriction was very low. Occurrence of gestational diabetes considered to be low, showed an increasing trend in the study group.
Young maternal age per se is not the only risk factor for adverse maternal outcome. Religious and cultural practices, poor socioeconomic condition, lack of awareness of risks are contributing factors for teenage pregnancy. Conflicting evidence obtained in this study regarding antenatal complications and birth weight shows that good antenatal care and support by family and caregivers can bring down the adverse effects of teenage pregnancy