Children's Hospital Colorado

Care for Young Adolescent Mothers (S2:E16)

Pediatricians who work with adolescents encounter a variety of challenges, including teen moms. These mothers are still growing and developing themselves, all while caring for a child and coping with new psychosocial stressors. The complex dynamics of adolescent maternity can be difficult to navigate, but an integrated care model allows providers to approach these challenges in a more accessible and effective manner.

Listen to adolescent maternity experts discuss best practices when caring for young mothers

In today's episode of Charting Pediatrics, Hana Smith, MD, Medical Director of the Young Mothers and Families Clinic, and Amy Emher, PsyD, psychologist at the Young Mothers and Families Clinic and Colorado Adolescent Maternity Program, join us to explore how a diverse team of providers work together to ensure the healthiest possible outcomes for young moms.

In this episode, our experts:

  • Share details on the Young Mothers and Families Clinic and Colorado Adolescent Maternity Program (CAMP)
  • Explore the specific challenges faced by the adolescent population and children of teenage mothers
  • Explain the importance of preventing subsequent pregnancies while promoting education and careers for teen moms
  • Encourage providers to approach care with an understanding of the developmental growth of adolescent mothers
  • Share proven ways to serve adolescent families appropriately and set them up for success
  • Discuss various mental health screening tools for young mothers
  • Touch on the mental health needs and concerns of adolescent mothers and fathers
  • How the Young Mothers and Families Clinic addresses the mental health needs of adolescent parents
  • Explain the benefits of the Young Mothers and Families Clinic care model when caring for vulnerable populations like teenage mothers

Addressing the unique mental health and medical needs of teen moms

As our experts explain, young mothers should be screened for depression at every visit, due to their mental health needs and the prevalence of trauma in their lives. Mood disorders are common, which also has a massive impact on the development of their children. Mental health support is one of the key ways pediatricians can meet the needs of young mothers.

It's also important to note that access to long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) has led to a 50% reduction in teen births in Colorado. Preventing second pregnancies is a primary goal of physicians working with these teenage mothers, and pediatricians might consider becoming more comfortable talking about contraception and LARCs.

Supporting young mothers and their families at Children's Colorado

Young mothers and their babies are supported and treated by the experts in our Adolescent Medicine Department. Our pediatric specialists offer a wide range of services and resources to help young families, from pregnancy through childhood. Refer a patient to Children's Colorado.