Vol. 4, Issue 3 (2018)
Teenage pregnancies in a Nigerian tertiary hospital
Author(s): Dr. Victor Idowu Joel-Medewase, Olufemi Opeyemi Aworinde
Abstract: Background: Teenage pregnancies are high risk pregnancies with increased risk of negative outcome in the babies, mothers or both. Objectives: To identify and document the patterns of morbidity and mortality in teenage deliveries Method: Consecutive babies admitted over a twenty four month period at the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Teaching hospital, Ogbomoso, Nigeria were studied prospectively by use of a proforma. Information sought in the proforma include age, sex, birth weight, weight at admission, indication for admission of the newborn and outcome of admission. Information obtained on the parents include age, occupation and knowledge of contraception. Details were then inputted into the SPSS version 20. Results were thereafter analysed. Results: Twenty nine babies were seen over the study period with their ages at admission ranging from 1 to 32 days. The babies were made up of 11 (37.9%) boys, 17 (58.6%) girls and 1 (3.4%) baby with ambiguous external genitalia who was referred to another medical centre before genetic sex could be determined. Weight at admission ranged from 1.5 to 3.7 kg. Eleven (37.9%) babies were of low birth weight while 18 (62.1%) had normal birth weights. Delivery was by Caesarean section in 7 (31.8%) and spontaneous vaginal delivery (SVD) in 22 (75.9%). The common indications for admission in the babies were birth asphyxia, prematurity, neonatal sepsis and neonatal jaundice. Most of the babies were discharged in a satisfactory condition after treatment for a mean duration of 11.8 ± 7.3 days. Seizures, hypertonia, bizarre posture and poor sucking reflex/feeding were the neurological sequelae recorded amongst some of the discharged children with kernicterus or perinatal asphyxia. Two deaths were recorded amongst the babies studied. One of the mothers also died 11 hours after delivery. Most of the babies were born out of wedlock to parents whose knowledge of contraception was poor. Seven (24.1%) of the mothers received no antenatal care. Most of the mothers and babies needed further support by their parents or grandparents post-delivery as some of their partners could not support the mothers and the babies. Conclusion: Teenage pregnancy is a significant risk factor for morbidity and mortality in the newborn. Concerted efforts should be made to prevent teenage pregnancies by female child formal and sex education. The sex education should include contraception. Both mothers and babies need additional support for good outcome ante-natally, at delivery and post-delivery.