Smoking during pregnancy can make your child physically inactive, says a new study. Expectant mothers who smoke in their pregnancy are not only increasing risk to their health but, what’s more alarming is that they are risking baby’s health too. According to study authors who published their study in the journal BJOG, smoking in pregnancy makes the child physically inactive in later stages as researchers found an interlink between smoking during pregnancy and lower aerobic fitness.
For the study, researchers examined observed impact of maternal smoking over adults and their fitness level. Study authors included 508 young men averagely aged 19 years and 59 mothers who smoked more than one cigarette a day. Later, researchers tested aerobic activity of young men with a running test at military assessment test. It was found that adults whose mother smoked more than one cigarette a day were aerobically less active while aerobic activity was independent of own smoking, weight, BMI and physical activity.
While another entity that was interlinked the aerobic activity was mother’s BMI. According to study authors, higher BMI of mother reduced the aerobic activity level in young men.
Dr Maria Hagnäs from the University of Oulu, Finland, and lead author of the study said: “It’s well established that smoking and breathing in second-hand smoke are harmful for both mother and baby. Our study adds to the existing evidence base of the negative and long-standing impacts of maternal smoking. Women must receive advice and support to help them stop smoking during pregnancy, as well guidance on how to maintain a healthy weight to minimise the risks to their unborn child.”
Dr Geeta Kumar, Chair of the RCOG’s Patient Information Committee, said that smoking is a bad habit and best solution is to stop or quit smoking forever. However, during pregnancy mothers should taking nicotine alternatives for the sake of baby’s health. If she can’t stop smoking then reducing it to minimal is a must.
The study appeared in the Journal BJOG (International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology).