Smoking throughout pregnancy is associated with a fivefold increase in the risk of sudden infant death. American doctors came to such a frightening conclusion after a serious study.
The work of scientists at the Rutgers University School of Medicine in New Jersey is published in the Journal of Perinatology.
The mysterious “death in the cradle”
“Smoking significantly increases the risk of sudden infant death,” says Head of study Prof. Barbara M. Ostfeld. “Every woman planning a pregnancy has a very important reason to quit smoking.”
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), or as they say, “death in the cradle”, is a mysterious and tragic disease. It includes any death of a child under the age of one year, the exact cause of which doctors cannot establish. The statistics on it vary greatly by country, there are many factors obscuring it, but on average it is most likely 0.5 deaths per 1000 newborns.
“Such studies showing an association between a woman’s smoking during pregnancy and SIDS have been seen before,” aif.ru says. Candidate of Medical Sciences, Marine Gambaryan, Head of the Center for Prevention and Control of Tobacco Consumption, Federal State Budgetary Institution National Medical Research Center for Therapy and Preventive Medicine of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation. “At the same time, not only smoking, but the consumption of nicotine in any form can lead to such tragic consequences. For example, according to Swedish scientists from the Karolinska Institute, who have just published a study in the journal Pediatric Research, the risk of sudden infant death is three times higher in infants whose mothers used snuff during pregnancy. Scientists have concluded that women should avoid all types of nicotine products during this time, including snus.
Smoking is totally dangerous for children
“And this is far from the only harm of tobacco for an unborn child,” Gambaryan continues. – For example, smoking of a future mother also increases the risk of having children with low birth weight, and this is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular and bronchopulmonary diseases. This is very serious, because childhood pneumonia (pneumonia) is the most formidable factor in child mortality from birth to five years of age. If a mother smoked during pregnancy, then the risk of a child developing simple bronchitis and pneumonia increases by 38%, and severe ones, due to which they end up in hospitals, increase by five times. All this is understandable. Even in a healthy child, the alveoli are only a third developed at birth and are finally formed only by the age of three. And the child of a smoking woman may have an additional delay in the development of lung tissue.
One of the reasons for this is hypoxia, the constant chronic oxygen starvation of the fetus due to carbon monoxide (CO) contained in tobacco smoke. It binds to hemoglobin in erythrocytes (red blood cells), they absorb oxygen worse and cannot carry it to the child in the required volumes. As a result, all his organs experience oxygen starvation and develop worse. It is well known that with any hypoxia, regardless of the cause, a child is born with low birth weight.
The risk of impotence in the future is ten times higher
“The second negative factor is nicotine, which has the properties of a neurotoxin,” says the specialist. – It passes through the placenta to the child and leads to neurosis and mental retardation.
Another amazing fact discovered by research. If a pregnant woman smokes, especially in the first trimester, when the reproductive system of the fetus is laid, the risk of impotence in a son when he grows up will be ten times higher if he smoked himself. This is due to the fact that the harm caused during periods when certain organs are laid down and develop is especially serious for them. And future mothers need to understand this. This is a strong motivating factor to quit smoking during pregnancy.”