When Teen Mom Welcomes Baby #2

Repeat births among teenage mothers has decreased but remains high

(RxWiki News) The number of teenagers having a second baby has dropped since 2007. However, about one in five girls in the US is still having a repeat birth in her adolescence.

Those are the findings of a report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on repeat births among teenagers.

This report covers the years from 2007 to 2010. About 18 percent of all US teenage moms who had a baby during that time had already had one baby.

"Talk to your teens about responsible sexual activity."

The study, led by Lorrie Gavin, PhD, of the Division of Reproductive Health at the CDC, used data from the National Vital Statistics System.

The researchers gathered data on 367,000 births to teenagers, aged 15 to 19. They found that 18.3 percent of all births from 2007 to 2010 were repeat births. However, repeat births dropped by 6.2 percent in 2010 compared to 2007.

The groups with the highest rates of repeat births among teenagers were Native Americans, with 21.6 percent, Hispanics, with 20.9 percent and blacks, with 20.4 percent. Approximately 14.8 percent of white teenagers had repeat births.

The state with the highest percentage of repeat teen births was Texas, with 22 percent of teenagers having a second baby. Meanwhile, New Hampshire's rate was 10 percent.

Eight states had repeat birth rates among teens of at least 20 percent: Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, Oklahoma and Texas.

The seven states with the lowest rates, below 15 percent, included Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont and Wyoming.

The vast majority of the teenage mothers (91.2 percent) used contraception for two to six months after having their first baby. However, only 22.4 percent of these girls used the most effective birth control methods.

Meanwhile, 54.2 percent used moderately effective contraception, and 14.5 percent used less effective methods. About 8.8 percent did not use any contraception.

The contraception methods deemed "most effective" in this study included intrauterine device (IUD), implant, tubal ligation and vasectomy.

Moderately effective methods of contraception included birth control pills, injections (such as Depo-Provera), birth control patches and the vaginal ring.

The less effective birth control methods included the condom, diaphragm, cervical cap, contraceptive sponge, rhythm meth and withdrawal.

Teens who already had a baby were more likely to use the most effective means of birth control. While 20.9 percent of first-time teen moms were using the most effective methods, 29.6 percent of teens with a previous birth were using the most effective forms of contraception.

"Efforts to support pregnant and parenting teens should include counseling about birth spacing and contraception and, among women wishing to delay or avoid future pregnancies, the importance of sustaining contraceptive use over time, in accordance with recommendations from professional organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists," the researchers wrote.

The report was published in an April issue of the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Review Date: 
April 2, 2013