If teen moms had you shaking your head in concern, this is gonna make your head spin. Brace yourself.
More and more girls are physically showing signs of puberty even before they’re PRE-teens, and doctors are pretty much baffled about it. (Well that’s comforting….)
Earlier this month I was in utter astonishment at the news of the South American ten-year-old that gave birth to a healthy baby girl.
A 10-year-old Colombian girl gave birth to a healthy baby girl, making her one of the youngest mothers ever.
The unnamed girl from Manaure, a town in the Colombian Department of La Guajira, arrived at the hospital in tears and “enormous pain” from the contractions, according to Univision’s Primer Impacto. She reportedly delivered her daughter, who weighed 5 pounds, by cesarean section.
The new mom is a member of the Wayuu people, an indigenous tribe in northern Colombia. The age of the father is unknown, but police can’t press charges because the tribe has its own jurisdiction, according to local reports.
“We’ve already seen several cases [of pregnancy] in girls of the Wayuu ethnicity,” Efraín Pacheco Casadiego, director of the hospital where the girl gave birth, told RCN La Radio noticias.
Source: ABC News
If the fact that in this area alone they’ve seen several cases of young aged births wasn’t shocking enough, I practically gave myself a heart attack when curiosity got the best of me and I learned a startlingly reality of the past and present.
We all know that pregnancy can occur as soon as female ovulating kicks in. Ovulation precedes menstruation. Girls can get pregnant before having a period. Menstruation is actually the last phase of puberty. All of these phases are happening at younger and younger ages.
Girls as young as six are beginning to show signs of puberty, and it’s more than a little puzzling. The British news source The Week, has been discussing this issue,
Take the case of 9-year-old Ainsley Sioux in Fort Collins, Colo. At age 6, she began growing pubic hair. By the time she hit third-grade, she was the tallest child in her class and the “curves of her Levi’s matched her mother’s,” says Elizabeth Weil in The New York Times Magazine.
And this is part of a trend?
According to Weil’s report — “Puberty before age 10: A new ‘normal’?” — Ainsley is part of a growing tide of young girls forced to confront the mounting pressures of puberty at an increasingly young age. A large study published in the journal Pediatrics found that 10 percent of white girls, 23 percent of black girls, 15 percent of Hispanic girls, and 2 percent of Asian girls start growing breasts by the age of 7. But that earlier breast development hasn’t generally been accompanied by an early first period.
Are they’re any cause and effects? Its not just in the water, something must be a common denominator right? Researchers working on.
Studies have found that young girls who are overweight are more likely than slimmer girls to hit early puberty. “And some environmental chemicals, like the flame retardant PBB, can alter a young girl’s timing by changing her hormone levels. Stress “can disrupt puberty timing as well.”
Source: The Week News.
But right now there are no definite answers. This isn’t happening to once race or ethnic heritage, or even in one part of the world.
At best they loosely have two categories, those with diagnosable disorders like central precocious puberty, and those who simply develop early.
In some cases of those with precocious puberty, the early development was triggered by a disease such as a tumor or injury of the brain.
The best bet for parents at the moment, is simply as some doctors suggest, is to be brutally honest with their daughters about what’s going on with their body.
I’ll throw in another obvious thing: be extra vigilant of your child’s whereabouts, and with whom. Protecting young girls from sexual predators is already a must do, but having a child so early able to reproduce, is an extra danger to themselves.
You may have noticed that the unnamed, Colombian 10 year old that I initially mentioned was described by ABC News as being one of the youngest mothers. Meaning she’s not the youngest.
Having entering precocious puberty at the age of 8 months Lina Medina in Peru, gave birth to a (6.0 lb) son, named Gerardo, on May 14, 1939. At age 5. (Check out TIME Magazine’s profile of her) Assuming their daughter had a tumor, her parents took her to a hospital, where it was determined she was actually seven months pregnant. Her father was at first arrested on suspicion of child sexual abuse, then released due to lack of evidence. The identity of the biological father has reportedly never been uncovered.
A well documented list (medical journals) of world wide reported young age births (spanning the past 100+years) can be found in descending age order here. It’s startling. A glimpse of the more recent cases of underage motherhood can be found as easily as browsing Yahoo. Check it out, here.