Mass. Hits Record Low In Teen Births And Smoking During Pregnancy

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A report to be released Wednesday by state public health officials shows an all-time low in the number of teenagers giving birth and in the number of women who smoke during pregnancy.

The 2008 data (PDF) by the state Department of Public Health show that just 2 percent of all births were to girls between ages 15 and 19. That's a 10 percent drop from the year before. The highest teen birth rates were in Holyoke, Chelsea and Lawrence.

The number of women who reported smoking while pregnant also hit a record low: just under 7 percent.

But the rate of Cesarean sections increased slightly. More than 34 percent of all births in Massachusetts are now done by C-section.

The average age of first-time mothers in Massachusetts is about 28, and more than half of all women giving birth are 30 or older.

The number of unmarried mothers in Massachusetts held steady at 34 percent.

This program aired on May 11, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

Sacha Pfeiffer Twitter Host, All Things Considered
Sacha Pfeiffer was formerly the host of WBUR's All Things Considered.