It seems that getting pregnant at an early age due to unsafe sex practices is not the only issue of teen mothers. A study has found that the risky behavior is also applied when it comes to actually taking care of their child.
While recorded infant fatality rates from premature births reached its all-time low in 2015, the very avoidable Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is still imminent because teen mothers who know how to avoid it still continue with unsafe sleeping practices.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that, out of the 3,500 cases of Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths (SUID), 1,500 of those are cases of SIDS relating to accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed. Knowing that teen mothers are deliberately risking their children is very concerning. Let us take a look at the graph below.
A new study, published in the Journal of Pediatrics on April 21 titled "Knowledge, Attitudes, and Risk for Sudden Unexpected Infant Death in Children of Adolescent Mothers: A Qualitative Study" carried out by Dr. Michelle Caraballo from the University of Colorado School of Medicine, shows that teen mothers have a habit of putting their instincts above everything else.
Dr. Caraballo selected 43 teen moms from high school daycare centers across Colorado and each were asked about their knowledge, beliefs, attitudes and practices when it comes to infant sleep. She found that most, if not all, were already aware of SIDS and how it can be avoided.
Most of the teen mom participants in the study are already aware of the recommendations against sleeping beside babies and using of soft bedding and blankets-which could potentially wrap and suffocate the baby; however, all the participants are still adamant that their own instinct is more accurate than expert advice.
"We sought to understand participants' information sources and factors motivating decision-making about their infants' sleep practices [...] almost all teenage mothers were already aware [...] yet they were making deliberate decisions to practice unsafe behaviors," Dr. Caraballo said.
Dr. Caraballo suggested that a future studies may investigate alternative education strategies for teen mothers.