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Earlier Puberty Linked To Mother's Smoking During Pregnancy

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Let's face it: there is so much to worry about whenever we become pregnant. We want to do everything right to make sure our growing baby is healthy, and we also get that it can easily get overwhelming very quickly. Weighing the pros and cons of so many different things will become a part of your everyday life as a parent and smoking during pregnancy is one of them.  If you are a smoker and haven't yet found a reason to put the cigarettes down, this new study will probably give you that extra push. According to new research, there has been a direct link found between mother's who smoked during pregnancy and early puberty in their children.

The study was done by the Department of Public Health at Aarhus University and published in the international journal American Journal of Epidemiology, it one of the worlds largest puberty studies ever done worldwide, and is definitely worth paying attention to.

The research looked at a total of 15,819 pregnant women and their children. While the women were pregnant, they were asked to share their smoking habits. As the children grew, they were followed and shared in 83,810 questionnaires about their pubertal development from the age of eleven and every six months thereafter.

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Credit: iStock / fuzznails

Nis Brix, a Ph.D. student and one of the researchers behind the study shared that their findings showed that the children of mothers who had smoked more than ten cigarettes a day during pregnancy, entered puberty on average, three to six months earlier than the children of non-smokers.

Why is this worrisome? There is first the obvious reason that smoking during pregnancy can have quite a negative impact on the growing fetus. This can include things like low birth weight, increased mortality, and premature birth. While those are all good reasons to give up smoking before pregnancy, whenever it comes to the early onset puberty issue, that can cause a whole new slew of problems such as an increased risk of a number of diseases as an adult, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and certain types of cancer.

The team who conducted the study is working together to try to come up with a way to prevent the early onset puberty from happening to begin with, they are hoping that this serves as a motivating factor to stop smoking during pregnancy to begin with.

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