Teen pregnancies and their implications on health and education in India
According to the world’s first comprehensive study done by the Lancet to ascertain the link between teenage pregnancy and child malnutrition in India, teen mothers are more likely to possess stunted and underweight children than adult mothers. Teen pregnancy puts a young mother’s life in peril while damaging the baby’s growth and development before and after birth.
India is home to at least one in five adolescents and one in three stunted children within the world. this is often corroborated by the study published by The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health; stunting and underweight prevalence are 11% points higher in children born to teenage girls than in adult mothers.
Samuel Scott, the study’s co-author from International Food Policy Research Institute who analyzed NFHS-4, states that the strongest links between adolescent pregnancy and child stunting were supported the factors like the mother’s education, socioeconomic status and weight. Compared to women who have their first child as an adult, those that women have their child as a young person are less educated, poorer and more underweight.
Other factors include access to health services during antenatal, delivery and babyhood periods; infant and young child feeding. of these indicators are worse for adolescent mothers compared to adult mothers. Teenage mothers were underweight and anaemic. They were less likely to hunt health services as per the IFPRI study. They also had lower education or no education, no deciding power and lived in poor households with no or poor sanitation.
In 2015-16 around 27% of women got married before the age of 18 years and around 4.5 million girls were pregnant or had become mothers in 2015-16 consistent with NFHS-4. About 38% of children are stunted, 35.7% are underweight and 21% are wasted as per the info.
Globally, adolescent pregnancy has led to over 156 million children under the age of 5 years possessing stunted growth thanks to malnutrition. Per annum, voluminous girls give birth too early forcing them to assume adult responsibilities and putting their health, education and economic prospects in danger.
When we see Global data, it reveals that complications from teen pregnancy and childbirth are the leading causes of death for adolescent girls between the ages of 15 and 19.
There is a lad bias within the societies that force girls and ladies to possess multiple pregnancies risking their lives and spousal and parental pressures force them to connect the pain and ill effects silently.
The strategies that are distributed in other countries to forestall child marriage are unconditional cash transfers, cash transfers conditional on school enrolment or attendance, life skills curriculum and livelihood training etc. it’s also essential to figure with vulnerable adolescents, their parents and guardians, communities and native governance representatives and government bodies to deal with issues affecting girls well being.
It is important to figure out adolescent life skills, which help girls develop their own self and reinforce their commitment to education and learning. It also helps them access health, nutrition services, health care and government social–protection schemes which are very important for the overall health of teens.
The community and society must become child sensitive to deal with harmful gender and social norms. The adolescents should be offered livelihood and financial inclusion alternatives together with education. this can ensure they delay their age of marriage and also control over their bodies.