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We all know how bad smoking is for your health, that is common knowledge. Smoking during pregnancy also affects you and your baby, that is something we have all heard about before. But, what about secondhand smoke? What kind of damage does secondhand smoke do to you and your baby during pregnancy? Read on to find out more. Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here
Of course, if you smoke, you should definitely stop. If you are pregnant, you should try even harder to stop. We all know that. However, even if you have stopped smoking, just being around people who smoke can harm your unborn baby.
A new study in the medical journal Pediatrics found that just being exposed to secondhand smoke can really have adverse effects on an unborn baby. By being exposed to secondhand smoke, the increase of having a baby with a birth defect rose by 13 percent. Similarly, being exposed to secondhand smoke raised the chance of having a stillborn baby by 23 percent.
The experts weighed in on these findings:
“These results highlight the importance of smoking prevention and cessation focusing on the father in addition to the mother, during the preconception period and during the pregnancy,”
explains Dr. Jonathan Winickoff, Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, who is not affiliated with the study. Experts also agreed that it is highly likely that the higher the exposure, the higher the risk:
“We anticipate that the effect becomes significant when the woman is exposed to more than 10 cigarettes a day, which isn’t a lot when you consider that some women are exposed to partners and other people’s smoking habits on a daily basis. However, we need more evidence to be able to say with certainty what the true levels are,”
explains study author Jo Leonardi-Bee, PhD and Associate Professor in Medical Statistics at the University of Nottingham in England.
What was really surprising about this study was that it showed that simply being exposed to secondhand smoke was almost just as dangerous as having a mother who smokes. Mothers who smoke have about a 20-34 percent increased risk of having a baby that is stillborn, compared to mothers who don’t smoke at all.
When you compare that figure to a 23 percent increased chance of a stillborn baby for mothers who exposed their fetuses to secondhand smoke, you can see that there isn’t much difference. Secondhand smoke is almost just as dangerous as smoking, when it comes to where a baby is concerned.