A pregnancy is defined as the time between conception and birth and usually lasts 40 weeks. Nationwide pregnancy numbers and rates are difficult to survey because they also include abortions and miscarriages as pregnancy outcomes. In the United States, the latest figures report some 6.2 million pregnancies for 2010. Of this number, 4 million had a live birth outcome. On the other hand, approximately 1.1 million induced abortions and 1 million miscarriages at all gestational periods were reported.
Around 27 percent of all pregnancies in the U.S. were reported for women between 25 and 29 years old, making it the most reproductive age group. With some 25 percent of all pregnancies, women aged between 20 and 24 years had the second-most pregnancies. Since 1990, the pregnancy rate among married U.S. women has remained consistently higher than among unmarried women. On the other hand, abortion rates are much higher among unmarried pregnant women. According to the Guttmacher Institute, only 55 percent of all pregnancies in the U.S. are intended.
In industrialized countries, teenage pregnancies are often put in special focus. This is because of possible socioeconomic, educational, but also medical consequences. In the United States, the pregnancy rate among 15-19 year-olds has drastically decreased by almost half in the two decades since 1990. Accroding to the most recent figures, New Mexico was the U.S. state with the highest pregnancy rate among female teenagers, while California reported the highest total number of teen pregnancies. A number of government funded prevention programs exist in the U.S. to help avoid unwanted teenage pregnancies across the nation. The teen pregnancy prevention (TPP) program, for example, received a total of 721 million U.S. dollars in federal funding from 1998 to 2016.
A women's health during pregnancy is vital to the health of an unborn baby. Certain foods, alcohol and tobacco can have long term, permanent negative impacts on a child's development during pregnancy. Despite such knowledge being widespread in the U.S., a surprising number of women still smoked cigarettes up to 3 months before becoming pregnant or during the actual pregnancy. Similarly, although the dangers of heavy alcohol use to unborn babies is well known, 23 percent of adults in the U.S. between 30 and 64 years old still believes it was okay for pregnant women to drink one or two alcoholic beverages per week.
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