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A pregnant teen.
A 10-year-old girl in Colombia recently gave birth via caesarian section, placing her among the youngest mothers in the world. Though the girl is now recovering, her case highlights the dangers of pregnancy before maturity, doctors say.
anywhere in the world should be having a baby," Lewis Wall, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, told LiveScience.
According to Good Morning America,
the 10-year-old girl, a member of the Wayuu tribe in Manaure, Colombia, delivered a 5-pound (2.26 kilogram) baby girl. The age of the father is not known, but Colombian police reportedly cannot press charges as the tribe is under its own jurisdiction.
The obvious risks of such an ordeal are mental, Wall said.
"Any 10-year-old who is pregnant has already been abused significantly
by somebody," he said. "That probably should go without saying."
Nor are 10-, 11- and 12-year-olds remotely prepared to care for a baby, Wall said. But the risks are physical, as well.
"The placenta preferentially will take nutrition from the mother, who really is a child," said Sherry Thomas, an ob/gyn at Mission Community Hospital in Panorama City, Calif. That means that the developing fetus will leach calcium and other nutrients from a child who should still be growing herself. Likewise, pregnancy puts a major strain on the cardiovascular system, according to Wall. Pregnant women have about 50 percent more blood circulating through their bodies compared with non-pregnant women.