Introduction Rape is a serious threat to the reproductive, sexual and integral health rights of women, and increase the risks inherent in teenage pregnancy.
Objective To compare the characteristics of gestation, delivery and birth of infants born to adolescent mothers with and without rape notification in Brazil, between 2011 and 2016.
Method Descriptive study based on a linkage between live births of adolescent mothers recorded in the Information System on Live Births (Sinasc) and reports of rape in the Notifiable Diseases Information System (Sinan). The characteristics of the mothers and their pregnancies, delivery and birth conditions of the baby were compared. Differences in the frequencies were deemed to merit attention if a significance level of 5% was obtained. Results: From 2011 to 2016, 3,288,599 adolescents became mothers in Brazil, of whom 63.6% were black, 62.3% were single and 65.7% lived in the Northeast or Southeast regions. In the same period, there were 49 489 notifications of rape, and in 9 467 of the cases (19.5%) the adolescents gave birth to one or more babies. Among the adolescent mothers with notification of rape, 4 262 cases (45.5%) had previously reported this violence. A total of 10 814 live births of adolescent mothers with rape notification were found. These had a higher proportion of preterm births, a higher proportion of low birth weight and a higher proportion of a low score (0–3) on the 1st minute Apgar test. The adolescent mothers who were notified of rape also had worse prenatal care conditions (onset of follow-up and number of visits).
Conclusion Rape is very prejudicial to adolescent’s and newborn’s lives and health. The occurrence of this violence has a chronic character, highlighting the fragility of the network that should provide health care and protection so that the cycle of violence may be interrupted.