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Reproduced with permission from the RACGP
Background: Australia's teenage birth rate has fallen to historic lows, but teenage motherhood still occurs and can be challenging for mother and baby. Objective: The aim of this article is to review current evidence on the epidemiology and clinical care of teenage pregnancy and parenting, and provide recommendations around management of these young people in Australia. Discussion: Teenage mothers may have experienced family, sexual, and partner violence, family disruption, and socioeconomic disadvantage. Outcomes on a range of peripartum measures are worse for teenage mothers and their babies. Longer term risks for the mother include depression and rapid repeat pregnancy; for the child, intergenerational teenage parenthood; and for both, socioeconomic disadvantage. Teenage motherhood occurs more often within communities where poverty, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status and rural/remote location intersect. General practitioners play a critical role in identification of at-risk teens, preventing unintended teenage pregnancy, clinical care of pregnant teens, and promoting the health and wellbeing of teenage mothers and their children.
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