Smoking during pregnancy related to birth defects


    Updated Trends: A recent study has found that women who smoke during pregnancy are more likely to give birth to babies with birth defects. The study was published online in the Human Reproduction Update.


    The findings were published on the basis of the 172 research papers published in the past 50 years. The published research papers had involved a total of 174,000 cases of birth defects and more than 11 million normal babies.

    According to the researchers, women who smoke during pregnancy are more likely to give birth to children with missing or deformed fingers or toes. The defects also include musculoskeletal and undescended tests as well as cardiovascular defects. Smoking also increases the risk of pre-term birth and low birth weight.

    There is a higher risk of club foot, missing limbs, cleft palate and lip, hernia, gastrointestinal defects, gastroschisosis, a state where the parts of the stomach or the intestines protrude through the skin. Therefore it is advised to all the to-be mothers to quit smoking. They must also be informed about the possible risks. For women who cannot just give up the habit, the study suggests to opt for nicotine replacement therapy. Statistics have said that 45% of the women in UK smoke during pregnancy.