The challenges that young moms might face are many and varied. For example, young mothers may have difficulty balancing the demands of parenting with their education or work opportunities. A National Women’s Law Center study found that 43 percent of women who had their first child before age 20 lived in poverty, compared to 18 percent of women who had their first child at age 30 or older. Additionally, young mothers often experience less social support than older mothers, which can lead to feelings of isolation. Finally, young mothers may be more likely to experience health problems during and after pregnancy.
One of the many priorities young mothers must remember is their child’s health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children born to teenage mothers are more likely to have lower birth weights, which can lead to several health problems. Additionally, these children are at an increased risk for developmental delays and behavior problems.
It is important for young mothers to be aware of the risks associated with early pregnancy and childbirth and to take steps to ensure their child’s health. Here are a few to consider.
Babies have fragile immune systems and are susceptible to severe illnesses. To help protect them, the CDC recommends a series of vaccinations starting at two months of age. Young mothers need to ensure their child receives all recommended vaccinations on schedule.
Babies require multiple vaccinations in the first years of their lives, including:
- Hepatitis B
- Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis
- Haemophilus influenza type b
- Pneumococcal disease
- Inactivated poliovirus
- Measles, mumps, rubella
- Varicella (chickenpox)
It’s also essential for young mothers to keep up with their vaccinations. The CDC recommends that all women of childbearing age receive the Tdap vaccine, which protects against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. Pregnant women should also receive the influenza vaccine during the flu season.
Good nutrition is essential for a child’s health and development. Unfortunately, many children do not get the nutrients they need. In fact, according to the CDC, nearly one in four American children ages two to five are obese.
There are several things young mothers can do to help ensure their child is getting the nutrients they need, including:
- Feeding them a variety of healthy foods from all the food groups
- Limiting sugary drinks and snacks
- Encouraging them to eat breakfast every day
- Packing their lunch with healthy options
- Making sure they’re getting enough calcium and iron-rich foods
- Monitoring their portion sizes
It’s also essential for young mothers to model healthy eating habits for their children. If you’re unsure how to do this, talk to your child’s healthcare provider or a registered dietitian.
Many young children do not see a dentist until they have a problem. According to the CDC, nearly one in five children ages two to five have at least one untreated decayed tooth.
Young mothers must take their children to the dentist by their first birthday. The earlier you take your child, the more likely you will catch problems early and avoid costly dental treatments later.
After the first visit, it’s recommended that children see the dentist every six months for a checkup and cleaning. During these visits, the dentist will check for cavities and other problems. They will also provide tips on how to care for your child’s teeth and gums.
Finding a reliable dentist for your child will ensure they get the necessary care. You can ask your child’s healthcare provider for a recommendation or look for one online. It will be essential to develop a rapport with the dentist and feel comfortable asking questions.
Exercise and Play
Exercise is good for physical health and mental and emotional well-being. According to the CDC, children should get at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily.
There are many ways young mothers can help their children be active, including:
- Encouraging them to play outside
- Taking them for walks or hikes
- Signing them up for a sports team
- Playing games with them inside
- Doing yoga or stretching together
It’s essential to find activities that your child enjoys and will want to do regularly. Exercising with your child can also be a great way to bond and spend time together.
Injuries are the leading cause of death for children in the United States. According to the CDC, nearly 9,000 children ages 14 and under die from injuries each year.
There are several things young mothers can do to help prevent injuries, including:
- Child-proofing your home
- Teaching your child about stranger danger
- Using car seats and seat belts
- Wearing helmets when riding bikes or scooters
It’s essential to be proactive about safety and take precautions to prevent accidents. Reviewing safety rules regularly will help ensure your child knows what to do in an emergency.
As a young mother, it’s essential to prioritize your child’s health. This means ensuring they’re up-to-date on vaccinations, eating a nutritious diet, visiting the dentist regularly, and getting enough exercise. It’s also important to take steps to prevent accidents and injuries. You can help your child stay healthy and happy by taking these measures.