Background Teenage pregnancy is traditionally associated with significant medical problems including pre-eclampsia, pre-term delivery, low birth weight and increased perinatal morbidity and mortality.
Rationale The aim of this audit was to study the obstetric and neonatal outcomes of our local pregnant teenage population and adherence to our guidelines.
Methods Data from 68 teenagers (under 19 years) who delivered in Cambridge between June 2010 and May 2011 was studied retrospectively.
Results 69% of the teenagers booked for antenatal care prior to 12 weeks. 46% were employed or in full time education. 50% of the teenagers smoked during pregnancy and rates of alcohol consumption (8%) and substance misuse (3%) were low. Antenatal care attendance was good; only 1.4% missed two or more antenatal appointments.
Obstetric complication rates were in keeping with the general population. These included gestational diabetes (2.9%), pre-eclampsia (4.4%), intrauterine growth restriction (1.4%) and obstetric cholestasis (1.4%). The Caesarean section rate was only 7.3% while 19% women had instrumental deliveries. 2.9% neonates had a birth weight under 2500 g, and 4.4% required admission to special care. Breastfeeding initiation rates were low (35%) and only 11% had post-natal contraception in place at the time of discharge by the community midwife.
Conclusions Contrary to previous research, our teenage population had similar obstetric and neonatal outcomes compared with the general population. As our population is relatively affluent, this may suggest that social circumstances have a larger role to play in adverse outcome than young maternal age alone.
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