Friday, October 02, 2009

Smoking During Pregnancy ? Know The Effects On Your Offspring

image by p0psicle, sxc.hu

Don't Be Your Offspring's Worst Enemy

Some time back this blog carried an article that talked of the negative impact of alcohol consumption on the fetus developing in the gravida's womb. This article takes a look at how another of modern woman's vices - smoking - can similarly negatively impact the fetus.

image by atoy, sxc.hu

Have you been making the rounds of the IVF clinics lately? Is the prognosis of your likelihood of conception, less than encouraging? Take a quick inventory: is nicotine your favorite poison? A consistent causative relationship has been found between smoking and infertility. Habitually nicotine-inhaling and -ingesting women have been found to struggle more in order to conceive, in comparison to their non-smoker counterparts. Sadly, when the smoking-addict woman does conceive, there are high chances that the infant is stillborn.

image by zitherica, sxc.hu

Complications during pregnancy due to the mother's smoking habits are well-documented. Do you know that ectopic pregnancies have risen by four times in the past few decades? You now know who and what to blame this rise to. The innumerable chemicals and toxins that seep through the pores of the lungs into the bloodstream of the gravida reaches the placenta and contaminates it. So if the doctor tells you that "placental abruption" - or premature separation of a normally implanted placenta - has occurred before delivery, then it is those innocuous-looking nicotine sticks lying on the side-table that are the culprit.

image by celalteber, sxc.hu

It is not the placenta alone that suffers damage. The quality of the body being shaped inside it too gets changed at the genetic, chromosomal level. Studies conducted over a thirty-year period have established the direct relationship between smoking during pregnancy and offspring's ADHD. Just like as in consuming alcohol during pregnancy, smoking too has the deleterious effect of instilling in the child disorders such as hyperactivity, learning disabilities, antisocial behavior and others. The poison does not stop at neurobehavior. The kids are known to have developed cancers such as brain tumors and leukemia and lymphoma. Obviously, the carcinogens that float into the gravida's body due to her smoking are going to make their influence felt, aren't they? And if the cancers don't get them, type 2 diabetes does.

image by aditzugh, sxc.hu

And here is something more to chew on. Kids who escape all this punishment at the hands of their smoking mother face another hurdle to their emotional happiness. The mother's addiction lowers the child's own fertility levels. When the child grows to be an adult, then irrespective of their gender, male or female, they will face problems when the time comes for them to think of conception. The females among them will most likely have to undergo the routine of doing the rounds of IVF clinics themselves in order to become a parent. All because their mother couldn't give up her addiction to smoking. Is the mother an angel to the child? Or its worst enemy?

image by bluebetty, sxc.hu

And to think how eagerly to-be mothers look forward to having their little bundle of joy in their arms. A healthy baby that will grow into a healthy adult.

image by duchesssa, sxc.hu

[Besides the neuro-physiological traits that the mother instills in the fetus as gravida, she - along with the other seniors in the household - also plays an important role in instilling values in the growing child. These values, delivered overtly and subtly, determine what shape the child's psyche will acquire as an adult. Here's how: "Pinocchio, Everything's Fine With Your Nose".]

1 comment:

  1. I wish two of my friends would read this without feeling as though I was judging them. They wonder why my child, who was born 6 weeks early because I had pre-eclampsia (not due to any alcohol or nicotine use), is far more advanced emotionally, physically, and mentally than their similarly aged children. And they are now having their second children and still using both alcohol and nicotine as an escape to their lives or plain refusal to give it up. It makes me cry for their kids.

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