The Benefit of Smoking … in Pregnancy?!

Julie Ryan Evans

Flickr photo by Valentin.Ottone
Don't let the headline get you too excited -- no one thinks pregnant women should smoke (they should NOT), but a recent study did find that something about smoking may prevent preeclampsia in pregnant women.

Of the 600,000 Swedish women who where included in the study, those who smoked were one-third to one-half as likely to develop preeclampsia as those who didn't smoke.

Holy smokes, that's a big difference!

Researchers don't know why smoking may lower the risk, but they've ruled out nicotine as the factor. They suspect the positive effect may come from carbon monoxide produced when tobacco is burned.

I wrote about my experience with preeclampsia here on The Stir before. Prior to my horrifying experience, I'd always felt so healthy and in-tune with my body ... until it betrayed me so dramatically. I had no risk factors, and I still don't understand why it happened to me.

Unfortunately, no one really does, but this study could be a step toward finding out more about the deadly disease and how to prevent it.

Researchers strongly warn that this isn't a reason for women to smoke ever, and that smoking in pregnancy can lead to a number of other complications including risks of miscarriage and low birth weight. It could even increase your child's risk of cross eyes.

But for all the horrible damage smoking does, it's nice that at least a little good may come from studying it.

Have you had preeclampsia?

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