A Border City’s High Risk Pregnancies

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Despite seeing some gains in adolescent pregnancy rates, a Mexican border physician is concerned about what he considers an elevated number of high risk pregnancies and deliveries. Dr. Humberto Tanguma, assistant director of the Nuevo Laredo Women’s Hospital, said teenagers comprise a high percentage of cesarean section births attended by his institution.

Of 2,000 births handled annually by the hospital, more than one-third, or 34 percent, is done by cesarean section, according to Tanguma. Of the C-sections, 15 percent are performed on mothers less than 19 years old, while approximately 50 percent are done on mothers between the ages of 19
and 32.

In the United States, C-sections represent about 31 percent of all births.

Stressing that C-sections are especially risky for younger mothers who have not had adequate prenatal care, Tanguma said that many patients are migrants from rural zones in the states of Veracruz and Chiapas- places where medical care is spotty. The gynecologist calculated that single
mothers make up half of all mothers who give birth at the Women’s Hospital.

Tanguma, however, was upbeat about one trend. According to the women’s health specialist, adolescent pregnancies served by the hospital are down about five percent from previous years. Sex education provided by the hospital could be one reason, Tanguma contended.

According to Tanguma, an information booth run by the hospital informs young people of the inconveniences of having children before 19 years of age, and promotes condom use as a means of avoiding unwanted pregnancies. “This has given us good results so far,” he asserted.

Sources: Enlineadirecta.info, August 31, 2009. Article by Gaston Monge. Associated Press, January 8, 2009. Article by Stephanie Nano.

 


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