Teen pregnancies: We are failing to protect our teenagers


I refer to the news report “Teen mum throws newborn from fourth floor flat, baby girl survives” published on May 13, 2020, in The Star: an 18-year-old allegedly threw her newborn off the balcony of a fourth floor flat to prevent her parents from discovering that she had just given birth. It seems that none of her family members were aware that she was pregnant. I have read many comments from members of the public that are filled with anger over this news article. While I can, of course, understand the reaction, I would like to ask/plead that Malaysians also empathise with the teen’s perspective – she might have been in extreme fear, probably depressed, and worried that her family will find out that she had had an unintended pregnancy.

In fact, a cross-sectional study on postpartum depression (PPD) among 347 Malaysian women who had just given birth revealed that the prevalence of PPD was 31.7%. According to the study, women with unplanned pregnancies were 2.3 times more likely to experience PPD compared with those who had planned pregnancies. Additionally, the study also found that women who had no, or less, childbirth experience were three times more likely to experience PPD.

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Sexual health , teen pregnancies

   

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