Pregnancy

A Duke doctor examines a pregnant woman.
Duke Medecine

A new study from North Carolina State University suggests women who suffer abuse during pregnancy are more likely to suffer post-partum mental health problems.

The study was one part of a more comprehensive program looking at health and wellness. The 100 women selected were of a demographic and social status not typically associated with high levels of abuse, which makes some of the finding all the more surprising.

A Duke doctor examines a pregnant woman.
Duke Medecine

Researchers at Duke University say they've found evidence that inducing or augmenting labor could increase an infant's risk of autism. 

A study of more than 600,000 births shows boys were 35 percent more likely to have autism if labor was both induced and augmented.  The risk was also elevated for girls, but at a lower rate.

A new study finds that black teens have fewer babies by using birth control, practicing less sex, or having abortions in response to job loss. Contraception.
Bryancalabro via Creative Commons

While there are many studies that highlight the irrational nature of teenagers’ decisions, a new study conducted by researchers at Duke University has just found evidence of the opposite. The study shows that when a community experiences job loss, fewer African-American teenagers have babies.

Christina Gibson-Davis is an associate professor of public policy, sociology and psychology and neuroscience at Duke and one of three authors of the study.

Pregnant woman.
Montse PB via flickr, Creative Commons

North Carolina's teen birth rate is down significantly as more of them wait to have children. 

The latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says about four percent of North Carolina teens are having children.  That's down more than one percentage point since 2007. 

NC Legislative Building,
Dave DeWitt

A bill that would make public educators teach students that abortions can cause preterm births is headed to the state Senate floor.

It’s one of a raft of measures introduced this session aimed at restricting and reducing the number of abortions. Senate Bill 132 would require health instructors teaching students in the seventh grade and older to include information about what the bill calls “preventable causes of preterm birth, including induced abortion.”

A new report released by a reproductive rights organization says crisis pregnancy centers often provide pregnant women with inaccurate information. NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina investigated 66 centers over the course of a year. The centers seek to discourage women from abortions by offering free ultrasounds. Carey Pope is NARAL North Carolina's executive director. She says 92 percent of clinics- called CPCs- investigated do not employ medical staff.

A conference today in Chapel Hill is focused on sexual health in the young Hispanic population. It's being hosted by the Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Campaign of North Carolina. Spokeswoman Elizabeth Finley says they'll be exploring how to tackle the staggering problem of teen pregnancy in the Hispanic community.

A study from UNC-Chapel Hill has found elevated levels of abuse and eating disorders in pregnant women who experience depression. Doctors at the UNC School of Medicine say about one-third of pregnant women with depression also experienced eating disorders. About 1 percent of the general population has an eating disorder. Doctor Samantha Meltzer-Brody is the lead author of the study. She says physicians should routinely test pregnant women for eating disorders and abuse.

First Lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden are due at a celebration for 40 expectant mothers at Camp Lejeune this morning. The visit is part of a 2-day national tour and comes a day after Mrs. Obama announced a new initiative to support military families. The non-profit Operation Shower is hosting the event. LeAnn Morrissey, creator of Operation Shower, says she started the group as a way to give back to those wives whose husbands are fighting overseas.