Smoking While Pregnant Or Quitting For Two

pregant woman posing outside(BlackDoctor.org) — Smoking during your pregnancy can have lasting effects on your baby’s health and development. Cigarette smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals, such as rat poison, ammonia cleaning product, lighter fluid, nail polish remover, moth balls, and the addictive poison Nicotine – just to name a few. When you smoke during pregnancy, your baby does too. These dangerous chemicals become a source of oxygen and nutrients for your baby. Can you imaging adding a sprinkle of rat poison and then mixing in a little nail polish remover to your baby’s cereal? The dangers of smoking while pregnant are just that serious to the health of your baby.

Every cigarette you smoke increases the risks of your pregnancy. Complications to your baby may include stillbirth, premature delivery, and low birth weight. Undersized babies tend to have undersized bodies. Their lungs may not be ready to work on their own, causing them to begin their first few days or weeks of life on a respirator. Children whose mothers smoke during pregnancy are especially vulnerable to asthma, learning disorders, behavioral problems, and have double or even triple the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Learning about the dangers of smoking during pregnancy is an important first step in making the decision to stop smoking. Smoking also harms a mother’s health, too.  Smokers have an increased risk of lung and other cancers, heart disease, stroke and emphysema (a deadly lung condition).A mother’s health is just as important as the baby’s.

It’s also important to stay smoke – free after the baby is born. Babies exposed to second – hand smoke suffer from more lower – respiratory illnesses (bronchitis and pneumonia), from more ear infections than babies not exposed to second – hand smoke, and may also face an increased risk of asthma and SIDS.

Join the thousands of pregnant mothers quitting smoking today. If you or someone you know is interested in quitting and would like to learn about smoking cessation resources available in your local area please call 1-800-QUITNOW (1-800-784-8669).  It’s free and tobacco specialists are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide you with the support and resources you need to finally kick the habit.  Quitting for you and quitting for your baby is the biggest gift you can give your baby. The sooner you quit the better!

Resources:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). What Do We Know About Tobacco Use and Pregnancy. June 11, 2007.

Baby Center Medical Advisory Board, www.babycenter.com. How Smoking During Pregnancy Affects You and Your Baby. September 2006.

 

Increased Risk Of Infant Mortality Lies With Obesity

pregnant woman posing outside leaning against a tree(BlackDoctor.org) — Obesity in pregnant women could increase the chance of the newborns to pass away in the first few weeks of his or hers life as research shows.

Given high infant mortality rates in the US as compared to other developed nations, the researchers say, if the results are confirmed, “obesity prevention should be explored as a measure to reduce infant mortality.”

Obese pregnant women are known to be at greater risk of fetal death, while there is also some evidence that death rates are higher among babies born to obese women, according to Dr. Aimin Chen of Creighton University School of Medicine in Omaha, Nebraska and colleagues.

To investigate the relationship in more detail, the researchers compared records for 4,265 babies who died in infancy and 7,293 surviving babies, using data from the 1988 National Maternal and Infant Health Survey.

Among the infants that died, 8.8 percent had obese mothers, compared to 5.9 percent of surviving infants. Babies born to obese women were at greater risk of death in their first year, and were also more likely to die in their first 28 days of life than infants born to normal-weight women.

While risk was increased for obese women no matter how much weight they gained, infant mortality was greatest among women who gained the most weight (0.45 kilogram or one pound and up each week), who were at nearly triple the risk of infant death. Risk was the second-highest for the obese women who gained the least weight (less than 0.15 kg or 0.33 pound a week), who were at 1.75 times greater risk of infant death.

A similar pattern was seen among overweight women, with those who gained the most weight and those who gained the least at highest risk.

A mother’s pre-pregnancy body mass index had the greatest influence on neonatal death. Deaths due to complications of pregnancy, labor and delivery as well as problems related to preterm birth or low birth weight were higher among infants born to all obese women, no matter how much weight a woman gained in pregnancy; however, increased risk of death due to respiratory problems, birth defects, and SIDS was only seen for the obese women in the highest weight-gain category.

One problem with their study, Chen and colleagues point out, is that the data is “old;” since 1988, the prevalence of obesity and the average amount of weight women gain during pregnancy has increased, while infant morality rates have dropped by around 20 percent. However, they note, deaths related to prematurity or low birth weight have not seen declined and may even be on the rise, “which may be related to increasing obesity and infertility treatment.”

SOURCE: Epidemiology, January 2009.