Smoking Cessation in Pregnat Women

Topics: Pregnancy, Smoking, Nicotine Pages: 4 (1468 words) Published: November 9, 2009

Smoking Cessation in Pregnant Women

Maureen Walker

Sinclair Community College

Nursing 230 – 02

Smoking during pregnancy causes long term effects on the unborn child. More than 10% of pregnant women smoke in the United States today (American Cancer Society, 2007), and in some geographical areas that number is as high as 39% (Bailey, 2006). Managing smoking cessation during the prenatal period is a challenge that health practitioners are faced with. Different options are discussed herein, along with contributing factors to the success of smoking cessation in the child bearing population.

Mothers who smoke during pregnancy place their unborn infants at increased risk for numerous irreversible health conditions. Smoking during pregnancy is the cause of 20% of all low-birth weight infants (American Cancer Society, 2007). For babies born to mothers who smoked during pregnancy, the risk of sudden infant death syndrome increases. As many as 10% of all infant deaths could be prevented if pregnant women did not smoke (American Cancer Society, 2007). Maternal smoking is associated with many other long-term health problems in children, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, criminal behavior, and substance abuse (Mann, 2007). Childhood growth restriction, abnormal neuromotor tone, increased respiratory infections, asthma, otitis media, and obesity are other lasting effects of prenatal cigarette exposure (Bailey, 2007). Because of these acquired health delays, children grow to become smaller in height and sometimes weight than those children of women who did not smoke during the prenatal period (American Lung Association, 2007).

The unborn infant is not only put at risk if the mother smokes during pregnancy, but also if the nonsmoking mother is exposed to environmental tobacco smoke while pregnant. Infants born to women who are exposed to environmental tobacco smoke during pregnancy have...
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