Teen Pregnancy: Part III by Karen Matthews
Part three of my three-part post on addressing teenage pregnancy in Mississippi. Even though the programs run by Delta Health Alliance are labor intensive and take time, they are producing results. Research shows us that all of the staff resources we put into early childhood and parent education, pays back exponentially. Here’s why: teen mothers are more likely to have premature births and are more likely to have infants die before their first birthday. Premature births are the leading cause of infant mortality. Premature births are also very costly: an average $58,315 compared to $3,966 for a normal birth. That’s a difference of $54,349 per child. Delta Health Alliance programs have to date sustained a 13.8 % decrease in premature births in the three Delta counties in which we operate this particular program. That figure not only represents a huge monetary savings, but means infants are heathier.