Health office: Smoking endangers mother, baby

A PREGNANT mother who smokes puts herself and her baby in danger, a state physician warned.

Medical Officer III Claire Caperal of the Bacolod City Health Office (CHO) said a pregnant mother exposes her baby to viral infection, poor resistance, asthma and bronchial diseases.

She said the stimulant effect of nicotine to the mother and baby is the same.

"If the baby reaches full-term it could be born small or it will not reach its full term," she said.

If ever it is born, the baby may suffer respiratory illnesses and eventually die, she added.

"Maternal smoking or exposure to smoke during pregnancy is associated with premature detachment of the placenta, abnormal placenta attachment to the uterus, abnormal vaginal bleeding and ruptured membranes, thus increasing the risk of maternal and infant death," Caperal said, quoting an advisory from the CHO.

Second-hand smoking can also be as dangerous because the soot stays in bed cloths, bed cover and curtains, hence, before handling babies, the mother who smoked has to change clothes first, she advised.

Among the diseases babies and young children can acquire from frequent exposure to second hand smoking include: decreased lung function, increased blood pressure, headaches, acute lower respiratory infections, difficulty in breathing, burning eyes and throat, ear infections.

It also includes nose bleeds, increased frequency and severity of asthma, childhood cancers (leukemia, lymphoma and brain tumor) and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) or death in baby's sleep. (PR)


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