Aleeca Bell, PhD, RN, CNM
Department of Women, Children and Family Health Science
UIC College of Nursing
845 South Damen Avenue (MC 802)
Chicago, IL 60612-7350
Research / Discovery
The goal of Dr. Bell's program of research is to promote optimal birth-care (i.e., care supporting the normal physiology of birth, emotional needs of women, and healthy mother-newborn interaction). Dr. Bell collaborates with experts in the disciplines of nursing, psychology, neuroscience, epigenetics, and epidemiology. Her current research examines the impact of the birth experience (including exposure to intrapartum synthetic oxytocin - Pitocin®) on three maternal outcomes: epigenetic changes in the oxytocin receptor, postpartum depressive/anxiety symptoms, and mothering behaviors. Recent post-doctoral research explored the influence of intrapartum synthetic oxytocin on infant pre-feeding behavioral cues within an hour after birth.
Her dissertation research explored the influence of intrapartum epidural analgesia on nutritive sucking at the first feeding after birth and infant alertness within an hour after birth. Previous research funding has included: a) Irving B. Harris Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellowship, b) NIH NRSA F31 Pre-Doctoral Fellowship, c) Midwest Nursing Research Society/Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science Dissertation Award, and d) Mercy Hospital and Medical Center OB/GYN Education Fund.
Teaching / Learning
Dr. Bell currently co-teaches NUSP 548 Biological Basis for Women’s Health, a graduate course on reproductive anatomy and physiology
Dr. Bell is an alumni of UIC, earning a Nursing Science Masters degree in 1998 and a Doctorate of Philosophy in 2009. As a Certified Nurse Midwife, she has attended home births in the Chicago area, and has provided family planning, well-woman annual exams, and prenatal care at two Illinois federally-funded clinics: Alivio Medical Center in Chicago and Will County Community Health Center in Joliet