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How does teenage pregnancy affect babies?
A healthy pregnancy lasts 40 weeks. A baby that’s delivered before 37 weeks of pregnancy is premature. Teen mothers are more likely to give birth to premature babies.
Sometimes, these babies lack complete development in their bodies and brains. Depending on how premature the baby is, this can lead to life long difficulties with health and development.
Premature babies also tend to be underweight. Underweight babies might have trouble breathing and feeding as infants. As adults, underweight babies are more susceptible to diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
Low birth weight also affects brain development. Children who were born underweight have been observed to have learning difficulties.
In addition to having an increased risk of being underweight, infants born to teenage mothers are also at a higher risk of infant mortality.