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The Alarming Effects Of Cigarettes On Unborn Children

Smoking has been known to affect the unborn children of pregnant mothers. It is popular knowledge that women who are with child should not smoke. However, the reasons for this have not been explained very well. Also, not a lot of studies have been done on the effects of cigarettes on unborn children. Here are some things pregnant women should consider before lighting a cigarette.

Physical Effects of Cigarettes During Pregnancy

One of the reasons why pregnant women should not smoke during pregnancy is that it can cause premature birth. It also has a direct link to the child's susceptibility to respiratory diseases. Also, it has been observed that babies of mothers who smoked during pregnancy are lighter than the babies of non-smokers. It was also proven that the heart rate of infants of mothers who smoked during pregnancy have a heart rate that is 30% higher than those with non-smoking mothers.

Cigarette Smoking and ADD

Apparently, the effects of cigarettes on children during pregnancy are not limited to a child's physical qualities. It can also affect a child's mental health. According to a medical study, mothers who smoked an average of 14 cigarettes during pregnancy tend to give birth to "hyperkinetic" children with Attention Deficiency Disorders (ADD). This effect is dosage-dependent, meaning mothers who smoke an average of 6 cigarettes have a higher chance of giving birth to normal children.

Researchers speculate that this is caused by the pile up of carbon monoxide in the fetal blood stream that lead to a significant decrease in the oxygen brought to the developing infant. As a matter of fact, the infant is exposed to a higher level of carboxyhemoglobin, the substance that depletes the oxygen in the body and has caused deaths to people who have inhaled too much carbon monoxide. This has been used as a method of suicide by some people.

The Effects of Cigarettes on Academic Performance

Cigarette smoking during pregnancy can also affect the child's academic performance in the future. In this study, over 9,000 children were given tests to evaluate their math ability and reading ability. According to the results of the study, children of mothers who smoked 10 or more cigarettes a day during pregnancy had lower scores in these tests, as opposed to children whose mothers didn't smoke any cigarettes while they were pregnant.

Smoking and Child Behavior Problems

Another study also stated that severe child behavior problem is one of the effects of cigarettes. In a study conducted in California, it was shown how the number of cigarettes a pregnant mother smokes each day can affect the behavior of her child when he or she becomes older. The children of mothers who smoked during pregnancy tend to exhibit disobedience and have a higher tendency to have conflicts with others as compared to children of non-smokers.

In order to avoid rearing children who are difficult to handle, mothers should start consider quitting smoking during pregnancy. Not only will it affect their health, it will also affect the unborn child's future.
About Author Rory Herts :

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Article Added on Tuesday, October 16, 2007
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