Nearly 20% of American teens who give birth have already had one or more
babies, says a federal study released.
In 2010, more than 365 000 teens aged 15 to 19 gave birth and about 67 000
(18.3%) of those were repeat births, according to the April Vital Signs
report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Repeat births among teens decreased by more than 6% between 2007 and 2010,
but the number of repeat births remains high, according to the study.
In 2010, repeat teen births were highest among American Indian/Alaska Natives
(nearly 22%), Hispanics (21%) and blacks (about 20%). They were lowest among
whites (just under 15%).
Repeat births ranged from a high of 22% in Texas to 10% in New
Hampshire, according to the report.
Although 91% of teen mothers who were sexually active used some form of
contraception, only 22% used contraceptives considered to be "most effective,"
meaning that, with those forms of birth control, the risk of pregnancy was less
than one pregnancy per 100 users per year.
'Effective birth control'
Teen pregnancies can change the lives and futures of the mother, child and
family. Infants born as a result of repeat teen pregnancy are also more likely
to be born too soon and too small, the report stated.
"Teen birth rates in the United States have declined to a record low, which
is good news," CDC director Dr Thomas Frieden said in an agency news
"But rates are still far too high. Repeat births can negatively impact the
mother's education and job opportunities as well as the health of the next
generation. Teens, parents, health-care providers and others need to do much
more to reduce unintended pregnancies."
Parents, health-care providers and other adults need to talk to both male and
female teens about avoiding pregnancy by not having sex. With sexually active
teens, the discussion can focus on the most effective types of birth control,
according to the report.
The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy offers parents
tips to help their children avoid teen pregnancy.