There’s a new report that states what many health professionals have been saying all along: smoking during pregnancy is not only bad for the mother’s health but the baby’s health as well. What’s more, smoking during pregnancy also doubles the risk of sudden death for a newborn child.
Smoking even one cigarette can be detrimental to your baby’s health. A new study, published by the journal Pediatrics, states that women who smoke during their pregnancies are more likely than non-smokers to miscarry. Also, it significantly increases a child’s risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
The study says that even smoking one cigarette during a full-term pregnancy can have fatal consequences. Every cigarette counts, regardless of what trimester or stage a pregnant mother is in. Data compiled by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the risk of a baby’s death goes up by .07 percent for each cigarette that a pregnant mother smokes. There are 20 cigarettes in a typical pack of cigarettes. For those that smoke a pack a day, their baby’s risk of SIDS nearly triples, compared to infants of nonsmoking mothers.
"One of the most compelling and most important points that I would take away from the study is that even smoking one or two cigarettes still had an effect on sudden infant death," said pulmonologist Dr. Cedric "Jamie" Rutland, a national spokesman for the American Lung Association, in an interview with CNN.
Smoking during pregnancy can expose a baby to nicotine, carbon monoxide, and tar. Previous studies have suggested that if a mother is cigarette-free by the time she reaches her 14th week of pregnancy; then her baby will be fine. But that doesn’t seem to be what research is showing now.
Even smoking just one or two cigarettes a day can stunt a baby’s growth or lead to other long-term complications. Research has shown that babies who were born to mothers who smoked more often than not had a cleft lip, a cleft palate or other birth defects. That is why many medical experts strongly urge that pregnant women quit smoking immediately, or once they are made aware of their pregnancy.
If you are pregnant and have any additional questions or concerns, definitely consult with your doctor or a trusted health professional.