Last updated: December 2012. Planned review date: December 2014
Teenage pregnancy health
Each year in England around 35,000 young women under the age of twenty will give birth.
Many teenage mothers suffer social and economic deprivation and the impact of teenage pregnancy on the health of mothers and their babies is well documented:
• Babies born to mothers under the age of 18 are at an increased risk of prematurity and are 25 percent more likely than average to have a low birth weight
• There is a 60 percent higher than average infant mortality rate in babies born to mothers who are under 18 years of age.
Lifestyle factors such as diet and smoking during pregnancy all contribute to these outcomes, which in turn increase the risk of death and illness in infants and increased lifetime morbidity.
The key objective of the Teenage Pregnancy Health campaign is to develop information which is specifically targeted to the needs of pregnant teenagers.
The teenage pregnancy health campaign focuses on two main areas: smoking cessation and diet.
Tommy's wants to:
• build teenagers’ knowledge of the key lifestyle choices that can improve pregnancy outcomes by delivering information about diet, smoking, alcohol, drugs and sexual health;
• raise awareness among pregnant teenagers of specific behaviours that can help improve pregnancy outcomes;
• maximise the uptake of the campaign information materials by providing them free to all pregnant teenagers in the UK;
• support the face-to-face delivery of pregnancy health information by front-line professionals who work with pregnant teenagers through the development of in-depth supporting information for professionals.
Download the full Teenage Pregnancy Health campaign report (PDF).
The Young Women’s Guide To Pregnancy - A book designed specifically to meet the health information needs of pregnant teenagers. The design and content have been developed in partnership with young mothers and the resource focuses on helpful tips and advice for pregnant teenagers regarding antenatal care, exercising while pregnant, foods to avoid, giving birth and much more.
Pregnant Teenagers and Diet – A guide for professionals who work with pregnant teenagers but do not have specialist training in nutrition. The guide provides professionals with strategies for talking to young mums about pregnancy nutrition.
1. Office for National Statistics 2012: http://ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/vsob1/conception-statistics--england-and-wales/2010/2010-conceptions-statistical-bulletin.html