Author of parenting books blogs about raising children and health issues.
Kids of smoking moms more likely to need mental health treatment
New study finds link between a mother's smoking habits during pregnancy and her children's use of medications to treat mental disorders.
Tue, Oct 18, 2011 at 2:00 PM
Need yet another reason to quit smoking? If you are pregnant, or thinking about getting pregnant, you know that cigarettes are incredibly harmful to your health and the health of your growing baby. Prenatal smoking has been linked to a host of physical ailments for babies such as delayed fetal growth, respiratory dysfunction and behavioral problems. But did you also know that smoking while pregnant can harm your child's mental health?
According to a new study, children born to mothers who smoked during pregnancy were more likely than those born to nonsmoking moms to take medications for mental disorders. The study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology, compared the mental health diagnoses of 187,000 children born between 1987 and 1989 in Finland and considered their mothers' smoking habits during pregnancy.
Not only did the researchers find a connection between prenatal smoking and the child's mental health treatment, but they also found that the more a mother smoked, the more her children used medications. Kids who were exposed to more than 10 cigarettes per day in the womb required longer continuous use of medications to treat mental disorders. Higher cigarette exposure was also linked to an increased use of multiple drugs by the same individual.
The most common prescriptions were for antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs.
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