The number of pregnant teenagers has been increasing worldwide. The figures in itself are somehow worrying, as teenage mothers and their babies often face more health care risks in comparison to women who give birth at a later age. Adolescent mothers have a higher risk of developing pregnancy-related high blood pressure while their babies may be born prematurely or have low birth weight. As such, prenatal care for these mothers is crucial.
However, within this increasingly troubling problem lies another concern that must be immediately addressed. Alarmingly, cigarette smoking has become a fad for pregnant Australian teenagers.
Why, you ask? Well, their reason is annoyingly absurd.
According to a 10-year study conducted by a research team from the Australian National University, pregnant adolescents have read from the packaging of cigarettes that smoking reduces a baby’s birth weight. Hence, these young mothers-to-be are resorting to smoking despite its ill effects on themselves and on the fetus because they want their babies to be born small.
Pregnant Australian teens choose smoking to have smaller babies.
And why do they want small babies, you say? Believe us, we don’t think the answers can get any more ridiculous than this. Here are the top four reasons why smoking is an “in-thing” for pregnant Australian teens:
1. They fear the damage that childbirth will do to their vaginas.
Simone Dennis, the study’s lead author, said that after hearing birth horror stories from older women who have already given birth, the young women feared to have their vaginas damaged due to childbirth.
2. They fear that their vagina won’t look the same after giving birth.
The pregnant young women fear that their vaginas won’t go back to how it was pre-pregnancy and they are afraid that because of that, men will reject them for sex.
3. They fear weight gain.
Most pregnant adolescents are terrified that they will gain a lot of weight and not be able to return to their original body weight.
4. Being petite is considered a social advantage.
As society still perceives petite women to be delicate, more feminine, and more attractive, these teenagers believe that it’ll be better if their daughters were born small and grow up to be petite.
Whatever reasons these young women have for deliberately smoking and harming their own health and that of their unborn child, we don’t think that any of it would be considered valid. There are other ways to remain in shape and to keep themselves healthy after childbirth – ones that won’t jeopardize the baby’s welfare. We believe that keeping the baby and the mother safe remains the utmost priority during the entire duration of the pregnancy.
Besides, a mother isn’t defined by how her vagina looks like.
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