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Quit Smoking, Save Babies

Quit Smoking, Save Babies

Just how bad is smoking during pregnancy? To banish any doubts about the severe harm caused by smoking to babies and pregnant women, a comprehensive systematic review of all studies over the past 50 years has been undertaken. The conclusion? Maternal smoking causes a range of serious birth defects including heart defects, missing/deformed limbs, clubfoot, gastrointestinal disorders, and facial disorders.

The new study, “Maternal smoking in pregnancy and birth defects: a systematic review based on 173,687 malformed cases and 11.7 million controls,” undertaken by a team led by Allan Hackshaw, Cancer Research UK & UCL Cancer Trials Centre, University College London, will be published online today in Human Reproduction Update from the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology.

Smoking during pregnancy is also a risk factor for premature birth, says Dr. Michael Katz, senior Vice President for Research and Global Programs of the March of Dimes. The March of Dimes urges all women planning a pregnancy or who are pregnant to quit smoking now to reduce their chance of having a baby born prematurely or with a serious birth defect. Babies who survive being born prematurely and at low birthweight are at risk of other serious health problems, Dr. Katz notes, including lifelong disabilities such as cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities and learning problems. Smoking also can make it harder to get pregnant, and increases the risk of stillbirth.

Unborn babies are exposed to dangerous chemicals like nicotine, carbon monoxide and tar from maternal smoking, depriving the baby of oxygen needed for healthy growth and development.

According to the press release for the study, smoking during pregnancy can also cause problems for a woman’s own health, including: ectopic pregnancy; vaginal bleeding; placental abruption, in which the placenta peels away, partially or almost completely, from the uterine wall before delivery; placenta previa, a low-lying placenta that covers part or all of the opening of the uterus.

Smoking is also known to cause cancer, heart disease, stroke, gum disease and eye diseases that can lead to blindness.


Read more: Babies, General Health, Health, News & Issues, Obstetrics, Women's Health, ,

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Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.


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3:23AM PDT on Jun 19, 2014

Each time I used to always check blog posts within the first hours in the break of day, because I like to get information increasingly more. black stillare rda

2:20AM PDT on Mar 12, 2013

Thank you :)

7:46AM PDT on Oct 16, 2012

Some doctors advise patients to quit smoking ,But they smoking .noted thanks .

5:18PM PDT on Oct 15, 2012

This is news to some people?

10:30AM PDT on Oct 15, 2012

People do what they want whatever you tell them

9:28PM PDT on Oct 14, 2012

I've heard that some people actually enjoy smoking.......How can anyone enjoy that?

12:54PM PDT on Aug 16, 2012

And how much of it is from the air we breath, the water we drink and the food we eat? In the 50's there was an entire generation who were born of smoking mothers and who were healthy and had good birth weights. What's different now?

7:53AM PDT on Aug 16, 2012

I have never smoked!

11:53AM PDT on Jun 19, 2012

Great advice... Thanks...*Quitting Help*I went here for here for advice also and it helped me...

8:49PM PDT on Jun 18, 2012

Absolutely on Target.. Great job .
These are some things that helped me

Whatever you do Just Stay strong and follow thru and QUIT!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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