Prenatal Effect of Smoking

by PedgeRuest on November 6, 2013 - 7:37pm


The topic of smoking during pregnancy may have been overly repeated, however many mothers still seem to not understand the severe consequences it may have on the future of their child. In addition, many statistics still prove that mothers who smoke during pregnancy don’t escape the consequences that they almost seem to be ignorant about.

As explained in the academic article, smoking during pregnancy can be said to have certain effects, however many of these are further on influenced by many other aspects like the genetics that are inquired by the parent for example. Have they had any disabilities?  The amount of times the mother smoked, at what period of the pregnancy, the amount of stress she most overcome, etc. However even if these are all aspects that alter the types of effects that can happen, in general there is always an impact on the developing brain as well as increases the risk for developing disorders (examples used in the text; ADHD, ODD) which usually are diagnosed during the preschool years of the child. As provided, the estimated population that smoked during their pregnancy was 148 (2012), 30.4% of which smoked more than 10 cigarettes per day, and 69.6% smoked less than 10 cigarettes per day. The percentages resulted in 34 children with ADHD, 57 with ODD, and 13 with both disorders. In consequence, if you think more deeply about this fact, if a disorder is diagnosed at such a young age, it will follow this child throughout his/her whole life. Also, this article specifically spoke about these disorders in particular while many other disabilities may be a result of smoking like growth alternations.

The second article read is also about the affects of smoking on the fetus however, more generalized to many consequences it has on the baby for a lifetime. As mentioned previously, the disorders that can be inquired by the fetus do not nearly range around psychiatry but also in their growth. It is proven in experiments that by smoking, you fill your blood vessels with toxins, in which your baby feeds off for oxygen and nutrients. Almost as if you added lead to their milk before feeding them. Further more, premature birth is one of the severe causes of smoking during pregnancy. It is severe because it is not simply being born before date, but it also means that the baby doesn’t have sufficient time to complete growing in for example the body, lungs. If underdeveloped, the baby’s body is not quite ready to work alone to survive. In addition, due to underdevelopment they are prone to more disabilities like for example, the underdevelopment of the lungs can mean the baby will be vulnerable to asthma, or brain can mean learning disorders, or in more severe cases, higher risks of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

In all, both articles compliment each other. They both emphasize the risks of smoking during pregnancy but in different aspects that create a wider awareness of the subject to the public. As the academic article explains the psychiatric disorders more specifically, the other article focused on the more general growth alternations, ranging from low birth weight to sudden infant death syndrome, which I believe is the most extreme complication there can ever be in a pregnancy. In conclusion, it is not only important to be aware and to understand the risks but also to take the courage to either quit smoking before or during the pregnancy or to keep your word for quitting.

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