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Dangers of Unplanned Pregnancies – The Consequences You Need to Know About

When a pregnancy takes you by surprise, it can take you a while to sort out how you feel about the situation. You may be happily surprised or quite saddened by this turn of events. However you react to the pregnancy and however you ultimately feel about it, there are certain dangers you need to be aware of.

First of all, a great deal of your baby’s development takes place in the early weeks of pregnancy, particularly the development of the neural tube – the foundation for the baby's nervous system. There are a group of serious birth defects of the neural tube that can be prevented if the mother-to-be has adequate levels of folic acid – a member of the B complex of vitamins – in her system at the time of conception. A woman who isn’t planning to conceive may not be consuming adequate amounts of this important nutrient – by the time she discovers she’s pregnant, the baby could have already developed a birth defect.

In much the same way, women who aren’t planning to become pregnant may have other lifestyle habits that could affect the health of a developing baby. This includes smoking, drinking alcohol, taking prescription or illegal drugs, and having unprotected sex. Women who smoke are more likely to have babies who are underweight, which can lead to a variety of problems for the baby. In addition, women who drink alcohol can have babies born with fetal alcohol syndrome, which can lead to lifelong consequences for the baby. Prescription or illegal drugs can also affect the baby’s development. Finally, having unprotected sex can lead to sexually transmitted diseases which can be passed on to the baby.

In addition, women who aren't planning to become pregnant may have chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes, asthma or high blood pressure, that aren’t being properly controlled. All of these conditions can affect the mother's health and the health of her baby if left untreated. In these cases, proper control is essential for a good outcome. It’s best to have any chronic conditions under control before conception.

For example, in the case of asthma, a mother who’s unable to breathe well can’t provide the necessary oxygen to her baby. Or, a woman who has diabetes and doesn’t control her blood sugar levels may have a baby that suffers from high blood sugar levels and macrosomia. Uncontrolled high blood pressure in pregnancy can also lead to pre-eclampsia, a serious condition for both mother and her baby – one that can become fatal if it develops into eclampsia.

There are also the financial consequences of an unplanned pregnancy to take into consideration. If a pregnancy is unplanned, the mother-to-be or father-to-be may not have health insurance that will cover the pregnancy and baby. There could also be issues with work or school that could impact the family's financial status. For example, pregnant teens are less likely to finish high school or obtain a GED, which makes it more difficult for them to get a good paying job. Pregnant women also need to consider whether or not they’ll have the necessary financial support while they’re on maternity leave.

If you aren’t prepared to deal with these consequences, you aren’t ready to have children. Use protection during every instance of sexual intercourse until your situation changes.

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