Fertility and the Economy

Dr. Jacques Moritz discusses how a recession affects birthrate.
5:12 | 11/17/11

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Transcript for Fertility and the Economy
Two recent studies are showing the impact the economic recession is having on women and their babies one study published by the Pew Research Center. Shows that fewer women are having children a decline that began in 2008 when the economy took a turn for the worse. And another study in the journal of epidemiology found that women who were in their first trimester of pregnancy during unexpected periods of high unemployment. Tended to give birth to smaller than average babies. Here to tell us more about these findings and what they mean is ABC news medical contributor doctor shop where -- -- where it's great to see you thank you see him here. So what exactly is this link that doctors are finding between the economy. And fertility. Opposite number one is. Wayne you don't have a job when you're scared about jobs and when you can postpone having children you do it makes sense right I'm scared to have kids that cost a lot of money. School and everything so it looks like across the entire country. That the birth rate is going down and continues to and it continues to decline there are some exceptions if you look at a place like South Dakota and which has. Very low unemployment their birth rate is going up and there is one of group and we spoke -- this before. That doesn't have the opportunity to kind of wait for an economy get better and those of the women that are -- -- 394041. You can't sit around so in that group. The older women. The fertility rate is going up and continues to go through that I'm any choice now what this study that is showing these smaller than average baby okay -- that one's not so simple to really figure out right. -- study looking at 1979. -- which there was a recession at that point. And now where it looks like a much more severe recession found that there was a 4%. Increase in the number of small -- -- small baby. He is with -- -- -- GA small for just finish my -- it's where you're in the tenth percentile anybody that with a baby knows that they measure the baby's head and everything. And you -- to be above 50% what would that be a four pound baby you -- -- that's about a four pound baby at full term right right fortified -- is right that is is there's tiny error that growth restricted but this is just before -- that this is really kids. On on the edge of a public -- and have doctors been able to figure out what is causing. But I haven't been able to exactly figure out they looked at it other things times of war and everything looks like imagine. You're working you find that you're pregnant you don't object -- it's automatically you start releasing court resolved. Your blood pressure goes up there -- slightly but was told us can't sleep at night if you had any kind of ill -- and they start smoking again. You start saving on food you know worked out anymore you don't I mean and the grass and it insists -- keeps on. You know aspirants are you don't go to adopt here you can afford health care so it's a big big problem that it that was 1979 my gut is it's going to be worse things. Worse this time around yeah now in -- he said that they've done studies on this before women who have been in captivity bred more terrorism there -- threats of terrorism in the community and they found similar rhetoric and -- -- really interesting is. It has to be in the first or second trimester. If you are in economic crisis in the third trimester actually -- the weight doesn't change very much because it's already. Kind of -- some interesting element to -- it you know it just. It goes back what was talked about before the all important stuff happens for the second time I've ever -- beginning beginning right right so what does take away here documents what can that the average woman take away from that's right. Economic hardships occur in. They will continue to -- it's gonna get that -- and you know the baby comes first and you really I think in times after nine. Hardship knowing this data you have to even take care of yourself even more which is really hard for somebody listen and listen it's easy for you to talk about that. Because you have a job and everything but I'm just struggling but you really have to seek out. Some prenatal programs I -- -- prenatal care across the country is pretty much for they've really set up. Many things in New York we have what's -- Coming don't want an honest money -- thing. You have care starting actually yesterday -- give wonderful retrospective care and there's there's really no reason though there's tons of free clinics yes -- -- swallow your pride. Yes it's hard excepting what we call government cheese Renwick program pregnant infants until he -- -- -- they give you bread. Yes yes the thought that hard when you're the heck -- right -- I just doing short thing and. And things were and what about nutrition -- I mean sometimes eating well can be very expensive right. So do you find that also women who are having financial hardships are not able to -- as well that I wanted to thoughts and especially if he had other other kids -- -- -- sacrifice your food. And give it more to -- you half. -- they founded to study interestingly that the women with the lowest education not surprisingly really. That less than twelve years of schooling and basically didn't finish high school. We'll have the worst outcomes and also interestingly. The women that were staying at home had the smallest things which I really was surprised to find evidence -- has -- all right doctor -- right thank you sound like you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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