Background: Adolescent pregnancy and childbirth are associated with increased risk and challenges for both mothers and birth outcomes.
Objective: To investigate the associations of growth change over time with parenting factors and to compare the differences between children born to adolescent and adult mothers in Taiwan.
Materials and Methods: The dataset retrieved from Taiwan birth cohort study (TBCS) was collected by interviews using structured questionnaires, birth certificate and Passport of Well-baby Care of each child. Changes in body weight, body height and head circumference from birth to 18 months, as well as other variables were assessed by statistical analysis.
Results: There were 4.13% births born to adolescent mothers in 2005. Higher ratios of breastfeeding and working were found among adult mothers (p<0.001). Significantly higher percentage of adolescent mothers caregave their infants up to 18 months (p<0.001). Children born to adolescent mothers were associated with statistically significant lower body weight (p<0.001), body height (p<0.001) and head circumference (p<0.001) in spite of velocity and slop of growth patterns were similar over time. Breastfeeding did not significantly affected growth rate during the first 6 months. Generalized estimated equation models showed that gender and preterm birth were predictive factors for birth outcomes (both p<0.001) and correlated to changes over time.
Conclusion: Adolescent childbearing was associated with preterm birth and lower body weight, body height and head circumference from birth to 18 months. The changes in growth and development among children born to adolescent mothers remain to be followed and evaluated with the TBCS