Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Smoking While Pregnant Increases SIDS Risk

news you may not knowGood Choice...

Admittedly, nine months is a long time. Especially if you're a smoker - and pregnant. When could you possibly more want a cigarette then when your entire body is absolutely out of control? Not to mention your husband's odd behavior, the in-law's persistent pestering, and the total lack of creativity within the ice cream industry. Who says Black Olive Kosher Dill Mocha Cherry Crunch wouldn't fly off the store shelves?

Yes - you NEED a smoke. But...

That little guy, or gal, you're toting about inside apparently feels quite differently about the situation. Researchers at McMaster University say smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). They also found a link to exposure to second-hand smoke and SIDS. So, fresh air seems to be the prescription.

The researchers found the culprit to be nicotine. Fetuses exposed to nicotine are born lacking a critical defense mechanism. Healthy newborns rely on a group of hormones, known as catecholamines, to respond appropriately to oxygen deprivation. These hormones are released by the adrenal glands, and help arouse the baby when its oxygen levels drop, such as when its breathing is impaired when lying face down.

But, exposure to nicotine stifles the production of the catecholamines. So, when an infant's breathing is impaired, it lacks the critical response necessary to protect itself. The result is an increased risk of death due to SIDS.

How do you get through pregnancy without smoking? Hmm... Maybe distracting yourself by building a new ice cream empire would help...

To read more about the research, see this from ScienceDaily. To find resources to help you quit smoking, see this from


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