More Missourians had babies last year than any year since the end of the baby boom in 1964. 2005 marked the lowest year ever for teen births in Missouri. Fast forward to 2007 and for the second year in a row teen births increased.
"The change we saw from 2005 to 2006 was a noticeable increase," Team Leader Craig Ward with the state health department said. "It’s not just a little blip and not an insignificant increase, it was a very noticeable and it continued to 2007. I would be concerned about that and I would be wanting to watch that pretty closely."
In general teen births are on the rise, but births for early teens between the ages of 10 and 17 actually decreased, he said.
"I don’t want to say that it’s ok that they’re having births," Ward said. "I mean it is occurring among the older ones who might be a little more emotionally able to handle it but still it’s a big deal for an 18 or 19 year old girl to give birth."
Early teen births are down almost 5 percent, Ward said.