ECTOR COUNTY, TX (KWES) - If you're a teen with an unplanned pregnancy, it can be nerve-racking when you don't know where to start.
"It is so tough when a mom is expecting the perfect outcome, the perfect pregnancy and those things don't happen," said Divisional Director Tracy Renton with the March of Dimes.
Although the birth rate for teen moms has declined around the country in previous years, Ector County's rate is still high. With 95 pregnant teens for every 1,000, that's three times higher than the national average.
But the correlation between pregnant teens and their unborn babies is linked with health risks since many teen moms don't get prenatal care during their pregnancy.
"You run a risk of preterm labor, delivering the baby early," said Medical Center Hospital Divisional Director of OBGYN. "You want a healthy outcome for the baby so the best way is to get prenatal care, get their prescription for their prenatal vitamins, get the support a provider gives them that they may not get at home."
That's why groups like March of Dimes help teen moms lower that risk by providing prenatal care services. This allows moms to get the resources they need to ensure they know what to look out for.
"For any teen expecting, my recommendation is you go to your doctor as soon as possible," said Renton. "Make sure everything is okay. Make sure your pregnancy is healthy."
Renton said a teen mom's support plays a crucial role during their pregnancy. But the best way for help is to reach out.
"Support is a vital part of that," she said. "When you have support from the community, family and a physician. It makes things so much easier during your pregnancy. We want to make sure these babies are born healthy and we do all we can to give the information to these young moms early enough so they can have a healthy pregnancy, outcome and future for their child."
To reach out to the March of Dimes local office call (432) 570-0172 or visit their website here. You can also contact Medical Center Hospital's Center for Women and Infants at (432) 640-6000.