Stop fretting over election results. Prepare for the worst sentence you'll read this week: a 10-year-old girl gave birth to a baby in Spain this week.
Yes, a baby had a baby.
That this girl wasn't raped -- the father was another underage child -- only softens the blow slightly. But tipping the scales back in the other direction is news that pregnancies among kids are fairly common in her native Romania, and her family was seemingly OK with the pregnancy.
Kids should not be having kids. It isn't just about who will support the child, who will care for the child, or even how they can handle this mentally.
There is a physicality to getting pregnant that we grown women can't handle in certain situations. Women with kidney conditions, endometriosis, heart disease, certain cancers, and a host of other conditions are often told not to even try getting pregnant because it could put a strain on their body. Sure, sometimes we do it anyway, but we know exactly what we're getting into.
So what happens when a child gets pregnant? They're putting themselves at the biggest risk of all. According to the March of Dimes, the death rate from pregnancy complications is significantly higher for girls who are pregnant under the age of 15 than among older teenagers. The teens are likewise at higher risk for high blood pressure and anemia, and with her bones still developing, she puts herself at higher risk for osteoporosis down the line.
The risks are increased for the baby too. There are higher incidences of central nervous system, gastrointestinal, and musculoskeletal/integumental anomalies in the fetuses of a pregnant teen than a woman 20 to 34. Teens are more likely to give birth prematurely, and more likely to produce a low-birthweight baby.
The 10-year-old in Spain somehow managed to produce a 6-pound, 4-ounce baby, who reports say are healthy. But there's no doubt her life is changed forever.
Image via daquella manera/Flickr