Adolescent and adult pregnant women: different risk circumstances?.

Bárbara Figueiredo, Alexandra Pacheco, Rute Magarinho


The aim of the present study is to characterize the circumstance under which the pregnancy occurs in adolescence and adulthood, and to analyse differences in terms of social-demographics, adverse childhood experiences and current pregnancy conditions. A sample of 130 outpatients of the Julio Dinis Maternity (Porto, Portugal) (66 pregnant adolescent and 64 pregnant adult women) was interview in the last trimester of pregnancy. The results show that several less favourable conditions, that may negatively interfered with the gestation and the care of the baby, are significantly associated with adolescent pregnancy, as for example: unemployment, single parenthood, tobacco use, previous adverse conditions of existence and unwanted pregnancy. Although, other adverse circumstances are associated with pregnancy in adulthood, as: a history of infertility or of psychological problems with treatment or internment, and the absence of a least one parent in reason of death. We conclude that a considerable number of pregnant adolescent women are living under unfavourable conditions; thus, even attending to the variability of, the group as a whole can be considered at risk, when compared with the group of adult pregnant women. We also conclude that adolescent and adult pregnant women are pregnant under specific conditions, as we observe different risk circumstances in these two groups, that should be attended by the health providers in order to adequate their help to the real needs of the mothers.

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