More and more babies are having babies.
An 11-year-old girl in the Northeast recently gave birth to a baby boy. ELEVEN. YEARS. OLD.
"My daughter and (her) baby are fine, and the baby is absolutely beautiful," the mother of the 11-year-old girl told FOX News. The girl and her family are not being named in order to protect their privacy.
Dr. Manny Alvarez, managing health editor of FOXNews.com, says the girl's age places her in significant danger.
"Her body is clearly not defined for pregnancy with its short stature," Al-Khan said. "Her chest is not extensively developed for breast tissue, her bones aren't quite fused, and once you expose a child this young to high amounts of progesterone and especially estrogen, there is (a possibility) that it could halt her growth."
Other medical challenges facing a pregnant girl as young as 10 or 11 include:
- The pelvis is not defined for natural childbirth
- The vagina could sustain injury during a natural birth
- The patient is at high risk for preeclampsia, a pregnancy condition marked by high blood pressure and protein in the urine, and which can lead to convulsions and multi-system organ failure
- A higher risk of pre-term labor and delivery, which would mean the baby's size would be compromised, leaving the baby at risk for developmental issues, fetal growth restriction and chromosomal abnormalities
- Higher incidence of stillbirth
- Higher incidence of cholestasis of pregnancy, a condition caused by the blockage of bile, which can lead to stillbirth and placenta issues
- A chance of developing fatty liver, which can be fatal
Last week, we told you about the 9-year-old who gave birth in China.
What is up with all these babies having babies? More and more girls these days are experiencing precocious puberty, which means they can get pregnant earlier.
"Most often, children who develop signs of puberty before the normal age have no definable cause," says Andrew B. Muir, MD, a pediatric endocrinology specialist and one of the leading experts in the field of precocious puberty. "Occasionally, children will be unwittingly exposed to hormones in the environment that cause early puberty. An example is shampoos that contain placental extract. A report in the New England Journal of Medicine in February 2007 suggested tea tree oil and lavender in skin care products could cause breast development in boys. Transient ovarian cysts, low thyroid hormone levels, and a variety of different types of tumors are more common causes of precocious puberty."
This story just makes us want to lock up our tween daughters and never let them out of our sight. We know how hard and all-consuming it is to be a mother in our 20s, 30s, and 40s -- we couldn't even begin to imagine doing it at 11 years old. Wow.