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Illustration of three pregnant women holding their bellies

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Pregnancy Timeline: Here’s What to Do and When

You’re pregnant! Congrats! You might be feeling excitement, anxiety, joy, trepidation or all of the above. That’s normal. Not only are you on the verge of a new chapter in life—especially if this baby will be your first—but it also seems there is so much to keep track of in those approximately 40 weeks of…

OB-GYN, Pregnancy

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Photo of marijuana plants

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Marijuana or CBD During Pregnancy: Is It Safe?

Though not everyone talks about it openly, marijuana and related products like CBD (cannabidiol, one of the active ingredients in marijuana) are a big topic in the world of motherhood. While there is limited research available on what effect marijuana has on a baby in utero, researchers and physicians warn against its use by moms-to-be.…

Breastfeeding, Maternal Health, Pregnancy

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Illustration of woman sitting on a couch, touching and reflecting on her pregnant belly

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What Moms-to-Be Need to Know About Pregnancy Blood Tests

Today, obstetricians have many tools at their disposal to learn important information about the health of a baby. Most people are familiar with ultrasounds, in which a technician runs a wand over the belly to pick up high-frequency sound waves and make an image of the developing baby. But moms-to-be might be surprised that much…

Maternal Health, OB-GYN, Pregnancy

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UNC Health pediatric patient Mackenzie as an infant

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Correcting Spina Bifida with Surgery During Pregnancy

When Nicole Starling was 18 weeks pregnant, she found out she was having a girl. And she learned that her baby girl had myelomeningocele, the most severe form of spina bifida, a birth defect that occurs when the spine and spinal cord don’t form properly. “At first, we were super excited to hear we were…

Maternal Health, UNC Children's, UNC Stories

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close-up of woman holding her pregnant belly, lying in bed

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Navigating Pregnancy with a Mental Illness

Pregnancy can be a very exciting and rewarding time in a woman’s life, but for the 1 in 5 women who experience a mental illness—including anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder and other mental health conditions—it might also bring new challenges. We talked to Mary Kimmel, MD, medical director of UNC’s Perinatal Psychiatry Inpatient Unit about pregnancy,…

Maternal Health, Mental Health, Pregnancy

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Staying Active During Pregnancy

Read the benefits on exercising during pregnancy and learn new tips on how to stay active safely.

Fitness, Health

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Spectrogram of an infant cry provided by Elizabeth Cox-Lippard

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Baby cries show evidence of cocaine exposure during pregnancy

The cries of babies whose mothers used cocaine during pregnancy have increased amounts of “hyperphonation,” a new study finds.

Research, Substance Abuse

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Outline of a child's head with brain.

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Antidepressant use in pregnancy may be associated with structural c...

UNC researchers found that Chiari type 1 malformations of the brain are more common in children of depressed mothers treated with a certain group of antidepressants during pregnancy; genes and severity of illness may be involved.

Mental Health, Research

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mother holding new baby on her shoulder while she looks away, troubled.

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More Than the ‘Baby Blues’

Women are told many stories about how they will or should feel after childbirth: overjoyed, blissful, totally in love with their new babies. These expectations can cause pressure on new moms and ignore the reality that every woman will feel different, and not all emotions will be positive. In fact, many women feel sadness and…

Depression, Maternal Health, Mental Health, Women's Health

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pregnant woman sitting on couch, talking to tablet

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Creating Community While Preparing for Baby

CenteringPregnancy is a national program offered at UNC Health that brings together women and their partners who are expecting babies at the same time. Through this program, patients experience better health outcomes, more time with their provider, learning, support and friendship. What is CenteringPregnancy? CenteringPregnancy is offered through the UNC Midwives practice in Chapel Hill.…

OB-GYN, Pregnancy, UNC Stories

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newborn baby stretches their arms over their head, eyes closed

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Meet Your Birth Team

When you imagined the day (or night) you give birth, you probably didn’t envision it would be in the midst of a pandemic. Parents-to-be have extra concerns and challenges because of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), but rest assured that your medical team is prepared to deliver your baby safely. Some of what you planned for…

Coronavirus, OB-GYN, Pregnancy

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An illustration of a brain with a medication symbol - a cross - overplayed.

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8 Things You Might Not Know About Antidepressants

Taking an antidepressant is incredibly common—more than 1 in 10 Americans do.  But despite their prevalence, these drugs are often misunderstood, in part because of stereotypes and stigma around mental health. That may keep some people who could benefit from an antidepressant from learning more, says UNC Health psychiatrist Elizabeth Cox, MD.  “Medication is an…

Depression, Medication, Mental Health, Psychiatry

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