Teen Moms with Higher Educational Hopes Give Birth to Heavier Babies

Teen MomsEducational achievement and educational aspiration appear to correlate to higher birth weight babies among teen moms, says a new study published in the open access journal BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth.

Higher birth weight for babies correlates to better overall health. Babies born weighing less than 5.5 pounds are considered low birth weight. Low birth weight is associated with increased neonatal death, an increased risk of neonatal infections, inhibited growth and cognitive development, and chronic diseases later in life.

Previous studies have linked education to higher birth weight in babies born to adult mothers. The present study from researchers from Tulane University examined the link, if any, between education and the birth weight of babies born to teenage mothers.

To determine the possible effects of adolescent education on birth weight, the researchers used national data collected about adolescent health in the United States. The researchers used four sets of interviews conducted beginning in the 1994-1995 school year with follow-up interviews up to 2008. The interviews identified 763 girls who became pregnant and gave birth as teenagers.

The researchers examined grade point average (GPA), skipping or repeating a grade, and college aspirations in correlation to the birth weight of the babies born to the teenage mothers. To measure educational aspiration, the girls were asked how much they wanted to attend college, how likely they were to attend college, and how disappointed their mothers would be if they did not go to college.

Among the Black teen moms, skipping a grade was linked to an increase in birth weight. Among the non-Black teen moms, both skipping a grade and having high educational goals were linked with higher birth weights.

The results remained the same even after accounting for compounding factors such as smoking during pregnancy and prenatal visits.

The results of the study indicate that higher academic performance and educational aspiration are linked to better birth outcomes for babies born to teenage mothers. The findings also suggest that improving educational opportunities may improve birth outcomes among teen moms.


Academic performance, educational aspiration and birth outcomes among adolescent mothers: a national longitudinal study:
Adolescent mothers with higher educational hopes give birth to heavier babies:

Image Credits

Teen Moms:

Using Adverbs and Adverb Phrases as Disjunct Adverbials

Using Adverbs and Adverb Phrases as Disjunct Adverbials

Abnormal Pap Test

High Risk of Poor Pap Tests for Female-to-Male Transgender Patients