Pregnancy rate for teens falls

editorial image

The number of teenage pregnancies in Peterborough has almost halved in the past 18 years - but the city still has one of the highest rates in the country.

In 1998, when the Office for National Statistics first started compiling conception data by local authority, the pregnancy rate for young women aged between 15 and 17 was 57.7 per 1,000 .

By 2016, the year covered by the latest statistics, that figure had dropped to 29.8. However, that still means Peterborough has one of the highest conception rates in England and Wales, for girls under 18.

A number of initiatives have been tried in Peterborough over the years to reduce the rate further - and more is still being done.

A council spokesperson said: “The reduction in teenage pregnancies in Peterborough since 1998 is thanks to a comprehensive, multi-agency, coordinated approach that still continues today, with work carried out in schools and colleges, health care, youth and social care services to address these.

“We do still see areas of the city in which teenage pregnancy rates are high. The newly formed Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Sexual Health Delivery Board will build on the successful results we have already achieved by targeting enhanced partnership working in these specific areas.

“This will be achieved by comparing the location of services with the rates of teenage pregnancy, identifying opportunities to better align services and ensuring that there is good access to contraception services.”

While work is being carried out to reduce the rate, there is also work being carried out with young parents.

Kirstie Lynn runs the Family Nurse Partnership, which works with first time mums and dads from before birth to when the child is two years old. Clients are recommended to join the scheme by their midwives.

Kirstie said: “There is a stigma to teenage pregnancy, but young mums and dads can face the same issues as a first time mum in her 30s.

“We have a very intense relationship with them - we visit them more than 60 times in two and a half years. It is all about helping them be the best parents they can be, and help them look to the future - either in education, or employment.”