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.
The opinions expressed by MNN Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of MNN.com. While we have reviewed their content to make sure it complies with our Terms and Conditions, MNN is not responsible for the accuracy of any of their information.