Exposure to Secondhand Smoke During Pregnancy Is Even Worse Than We Thought

cigaretteWe all know that smoking is a huge no-no during pregnancy, because, well, duh -- it just is. It's horrible for both you and your baby and can lead to all sorts of serious health problems -- and it also literally stinks. (So gross.)

And even if you aren't a smoker, simply being around someone else who does smoke can also be very detrimental to you and your unborn child.

But it turns out accidentally inhaling a few puffs of someone else's cigarette while pregnant may be even worse than anyone expected. A new study has found that secondhand smoke during pregnancy may increase your child's risk for behavior problems down the road.


Jianghong Liu, associate professor of nursing at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, led a team of researchers who examined over 600 moms and their children in China. Mothers were asked to state how often they remembered being exposed to secondhand smoke during pregnancy, and then behavior problems in their kids ages 5 and 6 were looked at.

What they found was very interesting. Moms who reported being exposed to secondhand smoke for 30 minutes a day or more had kids who were twice as likely to have behavior problems at the age of 5 years old.

Wow. Who would've thought that being around smokers could not only have an impact on your unborn baby's health, but also his behavior? If that's not one more convincing reason to avoid smokers altogether or encourage family members who smoke to do so far away from you when you're expecting -- I don't know what is.

I can remember being absolutely neurotic about making sure I was nowhere in the general vicinity of a lit cigarette when I was pregnant with my son. I wasn't above making noises and expressions of total disgust if anyone around me chose to light up, and honestly, I was blatantly offended that they'd do so in my presence -- whether they knew me or not.

And I was only concerned with the potential health problems my baby and I were at risk for -- not the behavior stuff. If I'd known that, I don't even want to know how much more of a nervous wreck I would've been every time I got so much as a whiff of a cigarette.

And who knows how many other unknown problems secondhand smoke can possibly cause? If you're pregnant -- do your best to stay away from it at all costs. The end.

Have you been around smokers during your pregnancy?


Image via Fried Dough/Flickr

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