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 over half since 1990. According 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, an average of 8 percent of pregnant women consumed alcohol in the last three months of pregnancy as of 2018.
Despite advances in medicine and technology, maternal mortality remains a problem in the United States, with the U.S. reporting one of the highest maternal mortality rates among all developed countries worldwide. Around 38 percent of pregnancy-related deaths in the U.S. occur during pregnancy with the leading causes of such deaths including hemorrhage, cardiovascular and coronary conditions, cardiomyopathy, and infection. Sadly, pregnancy-associated deaths are much more common among minorities and a majority of deaths are preventable.