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Is It Worth The Risk?

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What effects does smoking have on an unborn child? Many women that are pregnant think smoking will not have any affect on the unborn children safety. Is this true? Most professionals in the health industry believe that smoking while pregnant produces problems for the unborn baby. On the other hand, smoking while pregnant slightly reduces the risk of preeclampsia. "Effect of Cigarette Smoking Incidence of Preeclampsia," American Family Physician p.647. I believe that there are many side affects that an unborn child may experience if the mother smokes while pregnant. For me it would be too big of a risk to take, safety of the baby comes first.

Smoking can affect an unborn child in many terrible ways. For instances, low birth weight, premature rupture of membranes, sudden infant death syndrome, and may lower their IQ by several points compared to children who are born from nonsmoking mothers. Women who smoke throughout pregnancy need to realize that they affect the child throughout their life. David L. Olds of the University of Colorado Health Science Center in Denver and his colleagues wanted to find out if whether a maternal tobacco habit had an adverse effect intellectually on children later in life. Through 1978 to 1980 the team enrolled 400 women pregnant with their first child in a research study. The researchers asked each woman about her diet, smoking habits, and alcohol or drug abuse. To verify self-reported smoking behavior, the team measured a nicotine metabolite in urine samples collected from a subset of smokers enrolled in the study. The report showed that IQ scores of three and four year old children whose mothers smoked ten or more cigarettes daily during pregnancy averaged nine


points lower than those of children whose mothers did not smoke. Knowing that the child could not fully reach their intellectual potential should be enough to make any soon to be mother stop and think. "Mother's Smoking Linked to Childs IQ Drop," Science News p.101.

Women who smoke during pregnancy are twice as likely to give birth to infants are small in gestational age than women who did not smoke. Women smoke only during the first trimester or during the first and second trimesters and then stop smoking had outcomes similar to nonsmokers. For women who begin to smoke during the second or third trimesters of pregnancy, the risk was similar to that of women who smoked throughout the entire pregnancy. It is healthier for the unborn baby if the mother stops smoking any time during the pregnancy but more it is more important for the mother to stop at the first trimester. The incidence of low birth weight increased with the



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