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Babies Born to Smoker Mums Are 200g Less Than Average

Babies Born to Smoker Mums Are 200g Less Than Average

It is no longer a secret that smoking while pregnant endangers both mother’s and baby’s health. A new study proves that newborns of smoking mothers are born 200 grams less than others.

The study, conducted by researchers from the University of Zaragoza, looked at the data of 1216 newborns whose mothers were examined since week 37 of pregnancy. 22% of those mothers smoked an average of 8 cigarettes every day. Babies whose mothers consumed alcohol or narcotics were ruled out of the study.

"Given the scarce bibliography on the subject, we had to assess the impact of tobacco on the body composition of babies born to mothers who smoked during pregnancy," explained Gerardo Rodríguez, lead author of the study.

A baby’s birth weight can be affected by many factors, some are genetic, some are related to the mother’s health particularly during pregnancy, and others are related to lifestyle habits such as diet, smoking, and alcohol consumption.

The results of this study, published in Early Human Development, found that babies born to mothers who did not smoke while pregnant were heavier than those who were born to mothers who smoke while pregnant. Researchers did not find any link between a baby’s size and the number of cigarettes his/her mother smoked while pregnant.

The average weight for a baby born to a smoking mother is 180 to 230 grams less than a baby born to a non-smoking mother, study found. Earlier studies found that babies born with less than average weight are more likely to develop type-2 diabetes later on.

"Tobacco consumption during pregnancy can cause a generalised reduction in the majority of parameters as a result of a decrease in foetal growth. Newly born babies to mothers who smoked during pregnancy are smaller and have less subcutaneous fat compartments," concluded Rodríguez.

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Prepared by: Marcell Shehwaro

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