Maternal Smoking during Pregnancy: Does it considerably cause many infant health problems?Introduction As each of us may come to agree, a mother’s general health condition and lifestyle within the duration of her pregnancy can have significant effects, which can be good or bad, on the health of her newborn child. In this regard, maternal smoking has been pinpointed as one of the main culprits in some of the hostile effects of risky maternal health habits in neonatal health. In this regard, a relevant research query, or question, can be of particular interest to this area of concern: “Does maternal smoking during pregnancy considerably cause many infant health problems?” Hence, this paper aims to explicate and enumerate the various problems associated with maternal smoking during the antenatal period, thereby providing answers pertaining to the research question based on relevant and reputable references.HypothesisMaternal smoking during pregnancy considerably poses many infant health problems.Findings and Analysis According to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Reproductive Health and Research Publication (2008), the following infant health problems and complications are associated with maternal smoking:Fetal growth retardationBirth weight reduction of 200gDoubling the risk of low-birth-weight babyIncreased rates of fetal and infant deathsMoreover, according to the same report, maternal tobacco consumption is one of the avoidable causes of infant-related problems (WHO Reproductive Health and Research Publication, 2008).
In addition, maternal smoking during pregnancy is also attributed as the major cause of the well-known Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, (WHO atlas11, Deaths, n. d.). Evidently, there was an appreciable increase in the incidence of SIDS attributable to maternal smoking, which was based on 50 studies (Consultation Report, 1999, p.8). According to Foulds (2007), psychological development problems are also associated with maternal smoking. These problems include the following:Attention problemsHyperactivityConduct ProblemsFurthermore, the duration of smoking during pregnancy also contributes to the severity of those aforementioned newborn problems (Foulds, 2007). Thus, all of these infant problems are closely tied up with maternal smoking within the period of pregnancy.
Conclusion and Recommendations Consequently, a thorough review of relevant literature has been made, which eventually brought up significant findings about this area of inquiry. In line with this, this paper hereby concludes that certainly, maternal smoking during pregnancy considerably poses/causes many infant health problems, as evidenced by the numerous and detrimental physiologic and psychological issues pointed to it. Nevertheless, despite the enormous health education efforts and massive information campaigns regarding this issue, many pregnant mothers still fail to quit from this risky vice. Although there is a continuous global crusade against maternal smoking during pregnancy, change must be initiated by these mothers on an individual basis and must come from their willingness and motivation to let go of smoking for the sake of their newborns.
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