Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Many Pregnant Smokers Deny Habit

A new study conducted in New York has found that of women who smoke during their pregnancy, about one quarter deny smoking.

When pregnant women smoke, it increases the risk that their child will be born with an illness, or not survive at all. By exposing an unborn baby to harmful chemicals like nicotine, tar and carbon monoxide, the amount of oxygen the child receives can decrease, slowing down development, according to the March of Dimes Foundation.

Smoking can greatly increase the risk of a woman having:

  • Stillbirth
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Placental abruption
  • Placenta previa

In addition, pregnant smokers are more like to have babies born:

  • Prematurely
  • Underweight
  • With birth defects

The study included both pregnant and non-pregnant women ages 20 to 44 who smoked cigarettes. Researchers took blood samples from the 3,203 non-pregnant and 994 pregnant women involved in the study and analyzed levels of cotinine, which is a substance found in nicotine.

The research team found that active smokers made up about 30 percent of the nonpregnant group and 13 percent of the pregnant group. Of the pregnant women who smoked, the average number of cigarettes smoked each day was 11. The Non-pregnant women smoked an average of almost 14 cigarettes a day.

Researchers also found that roughly 23 percent of the pregnant smokers denied their habit, while only 9 percent of non-pregnant women denied smoking. In addition, women ages 20 to 24 were the most likely to deny smoking in both groups of women.

Smoking while pregnant increases a baby’s risk of health problems, however, some conditions may be caused by a mistake by a doctor or hospital. If your child has suffered a birth injury that may have been preventable, call or e-mail the attorneys at Silberstein, Awad & Miklos, P.C. today. We will evaluate your Bronx birth injury, Brooklyn birth injury, Queens birth injury, Nassau birth injury or Suffolk birth injury case free of charge.

Sources: American Journal of Epidemiology, March of Dimes Foundation

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