While it might not be easy for everyone to quit smoking once they become pregnant, most women at least know they shouldn't be puffing away while carrying a child. Not all quit, but largely they know they should, and hopefully at least make an attempt to do so. One woman in the U.K., however, not only made no attempt to kick the habit, she is actually publicly touting the benefits her baby received from the 3,500 cigarettes she smoked while pregnant.
Charlie Wilcox, 20, the chain smoking mom, told BBC3, "It’s making the baby use its heart on its own in the first place, so that when it comes out, it’s going to be able to do them [sic] things by itself."
She's not a doctor, nor does she have any medical training. Instead, it sounds like she's just a selfish mom looking to justify her nasty habit.
I think it was my right -- and I don’t believe it was hurting Lilly. I wasn’t ready to give up smoking. I think if I’d given up straight away, the stress would have been more harmful to the baby.
When midwives tested her carbon monoxide levels during pregnancy, Wilcox's levels were found to be six times higher than what's considered safe for babies! See her reaction here:
Though her 14-week-old daughter, Lily, was born smaller than average (6 pounds, 2 ounces) and 10 days early, for the most part, she was born without any apparent complications from her mom's bad habit. That, of course, doesn't mean that damage wasn't done. We know that damage is done to a baby's DNA when a mother smokes, and that even future grandchildren may be harmed by the smoke.
So her spewing her theories is not only infuriating but dangerous as to the others who will read her reasoning and glom onto it themselves.
It's debatable whether someone should intervene and somehow prevent women from smoking while pregnant or charge them criminally when they do so. While it's a murky line where the woman's rights end and the baby's health must be protected (are we going to fine a woman for eating cold deli meat?), in the case of Wilcox, it appears she was so far over that line, someone should have done something -- or should do something if she chooses to have more children.
Do you think pregnant woman should be criminally charged or somehow punished for smoking while pregnant?