Study: Babies Born To Smokers More Excitable
A recent study provides another reason for pregnant women not to smoke.
The study finds that babies born of mothers who smoke are more excitable and tense and show signs of central nervous system and gastrointestinal stress -- the same withdrawal symptoms are seen in babies who are born of mothers who use cocaine.
The study shows pregnant women who smoke as few as six to seven cigarettes a day have newborns with behavioral and developmental problems that are similar to babies who are born to mothers who use crack cocaine or heroin.
"Jitteriness, tremors, muscles get real stiff they cry a lot they're hard to soothe," the study's author, Dr. Barry Lester, said.
The researchers said more study needs to be done to see if these are withdrawal symptoms or actual neurological effects of smoking and whether these effects can linger.
In this country, an average of 17 percent of pregnant women smoke. This new study is just the latest ammunition doctors have to try to get moms to be not to light up, 11 NEWS reported.
Internist Dr. Peg Miller specializes in treating medical problems associated with pregnancy.
"Increased risk of death right after birth, increased risk of SIDS babies dying of SIDS from mothers who smoke," Miller said.
Aside from health problems, researcher Barry Lester said there are social issues as well. Should pregnant women who smoke be treated the same as pregnant women who do illegal drugs since the health effects are the same?
"I hope it is a wake up call, get more women interested in quitting programs intervention to get them to stop smoking," Lester said.
The study did not look at the long-term impact of nicotine exposure during pregnancy. The report is published in the June issue of Pediatrics.