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Smoking during pregnancy can harm baby’s brain

During pregnancy smoking contributes to significant problems in utero and after the birth problems like low birth weight and attentional difficulties.

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New York- During pregnancy, mothers who smoke are at risk of metal disorders in their babies, warns a study.

According to the study, higher maternal nicotine level in the mother’s blood increased the odds 38 percent of having schizophrenia among their offsring.

Nicotine readily crosses the placenta into the foetal bloodstream, specifically targets foetal brain development, causing short- and long-term changes in cognition and potentially contributes to other neuro-developmental abnormalities.

“To our knowledge, this is the first biomarker-based study to show a relationship between foetal nicotine exposure and schizophrenia,” said senior author Alan Brown from Columbia University’s medical centre in the US.

“We employed a nationwide sample with the highest number of schizophrenia cases to date in a study of this type,” Brown added in the paper published online in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

The team examined nearly 1,000 cases of schizophrenia and matched controls among offspring born in Finland from 1983-1998, who were ascertained from the country’s national registry.

The findings persisted after adjusting for important confounding factors including maternal and parental psychiatric history, socio-economic status and maternal age.

smoking pregnant lady outside hospital
smoking pregnant lady outside hospital

Heavy smoking based on cotinine, a reliable marker of nicotine in maternal sera, was reported by 20 percent of the mothers of cases, but only 14.7 percent of the mothers of controls.

During pregnancy smoking contributes to significant problems in utero and after the birth problems like low birth weight and attentional difficulties.

“These findings underscore the value of ongoing public health education on the potentially debilitating and largely preventable, consequences that smoking may have on children over time,” Brown noted.

The study also showed that the mother who smoked during pregnancy have an increased risk of bipolar disorder after giving birth.(IANS)

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  • AJ Krish

    Some sacrifices are a must ,if the health of the mother and the baby are at stake.Hope they realise it really soon.

Next Story

Why you should avoid Paracetamol during pregnancy

The study shows, paracetamol could affect your daughters fertility

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Consumption of Paracetamol during pregnancy may affect the fertility of your daughter. Pixabay
Consumption of Paracetamol during pregnancy may affect the fertility of your daughter. Pixabay

Women who consume paracetamol during pregnancy, widely used to reduce a high fever or relieve pain, may increase the risk of damaging the fertility of their daughters, warns a new study.

“This study identifies a potential risk from taking parace0tamol or ibuprofen, although we don’t know exactly what effect it would have on human health nor what dose would be needed to harm fertility,” said Richard Sharpe, professor at the varsity.

Read more: Open defecation affects pregnancy, reveals study

Findings

Human ovaries exposed to paracetamol for a week in laboratories lost up to 40 per cent of their egg cells. Pixabay
Human ovaries exposed to paracetamol for a week in laboratories lost up to 40 per cent of their egg cells. Pixabay
  • Human ovaries exposed to paracetamol for a week in laboratories lost up to 40 per cent of their egg cells.
  • If this effect occurs in the womb, it could mean baby girls exposed to the common drug end up being born with fewer eggs.
  • This would give them fewer years in which they could become pregnant and lead to an early menopause.
  • It may be because both paracetamol and ibuprofen interferes with a hormone called prostaglandin E2, which appears to play a vital part in the development of the foetal reproductive system.

Also read: Pregnancy seems Safe for Breast Cancer Survivors: Study

The findings prompts fresh warnings for pregnant women to only take paracetamol when necessary and warrants further research. Pixabay
The findings prompts fresh warnings for pregnant women to only take paracetamol when necessary and warrants further research. Pixabay

Methodology

  • The team tested the effect of paracetamol and ibuprofen on human foetal testes and ovaries over a week. Researchers counted germ cells that turn into sperm and eggs.
  • In the ovary, the number of egg cells fell by up to 40 per cent, while in testes the number of germ cells was reduced by more than a fifth.

While unborn boys could also be affected by the drug. But unlike women, whose egg supply is limited, they keep producing sperm throughout their lives, meaning the danger to their fertility is not as serious, the researchers said.