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Knowledge of outcome of pregnancy and labour among rural pregnant teenagers, in Limpopo province, South Africa
Teenage pregnancy has been associated with poor health and poverty for the teen mother and the child, and has serious consequences for society. The purpose of this study was to explore the knowledge of outcomes of pregnancies and labour among rural pregnant teenagers in Limpopo, South Africa. This cross-sectional study involved 966 randomly selected pregnant teenagers and teen mothers still within 6 weeks of their postnatal period in two hospitals. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data on demography, prenatal care, complications of pregnancy and delivery, mode of delivery and outcome of pregnancy. The findings of the study revealed that 40.0% teens mothers reported low birth weight and premature babies; and by caesarean 27.2%. The risk of cephalopelvic disproportion was the commonest indication for caesarean section amongst all primigravidae. The perinatal mortality rate among the teenagers (58.2/1 000) was slightly high. The findings of this study revealed that majority of teen mothers did not book for antenatal care during the first trimester, which is an ideal period for a pregnant mother as advised by Regulation R2488 of 1990. This is worrisome as late antenatal clinic attendance provides little or no time for appropriate screening and management of risk factors. Support should be provided for teenagers who, by accident or choice, have become pregnant, so that they can have the optimal care and outcome.