Smoking during pregnancy can affect the life of the unborn in many different ways. The complications may range from physical to mental or behavioral problems. The long term effects of smoking to the baby’s health may not be diagnosed until after a certain period of time. Sometimes, the symptoms occur during childhood and in early adulthood.
Babies who have been exposed to cigarette smoke are more prone to bullying, disobedience, cheating, and lying. This is according to WebMD, an American company that provides scientific information and services online.
The Long Term Effects of Maternal Smoking
Most of the long term consequences of smoking during pregnancy rest on the cognitive and behavioral disorders that the child may develop overtime. A very recent study indicated that mothers who smoke while pregnant have babies that are more likely to develop mental or psychological disorders. Two studies were made in Britain and in Brazil wherein over 5,000 moms were observed. Both of the results showed that the smoke coming from the cigarettes contain harmful substances that can significantly alter the brain structure of the child. These changes in the brain can be linked to mental disorders that may begin later in the life of the baby.
There are some other researches that linked maternal smoking to children’s behavioral disorders. The only problem with these studies is that there are more factors to be considered other than smoking. They include the environment of the child and their genetic composition. Nonetheless, there is no doubt that in one way or another, and no matter how insignificant it may seem, maternal smoking has something to do with the mental and behavioral health of a child.
Maternal Smoking and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD)
A study made by professional researchers from the University of Alabama revealed that smoking during pregnancy can trigger the occurrence of ADHD among children. To come up with the results, the researchers studied children who have hyperactivity disorders. It was found that majority of these children have moms who smoke. They also admitted that they even smoked while they were pregnant.
The culprit behind this alarming problem is the nicotine which is mainly found in tobaccos. This toxic substance alters the brain function by preventing the stem cells in the hippocampus (the area in the brain that is responsible for memory and learning) to reproduce. The interference of nicotine with the fetal brain development can damage the cognitive function of the child. Aside from ADHD, this condition can cause related illnesses such as mental retardation, learning difficulties or low IQ, and inclination to drug abuse.
Will you risk your child?
Pregnancy marks the start of your motherhood. This is perhaps the most critical stage in your life as a woman. What makes it even more complicated is the fact that there’s another life inside you who is struggling to survive and experience the world outside.
While quitting smoking can be an entirely difficult task, you don’t want your child to suffer from the consequences it brings all through their life. Maternal smoking will bring no positive effects to your baby. Therefore, it’s really a waste of time and money to smoke. Just like all parents in the world right now, you must be dreaming for your child’s bright future. Make this dream come true by securing the health of your baby all through the way.
photo credit: mdanys