Pregnant women who stop smoking not only improve their physical health, but are more likely to have easygoing babies, a latest British research has shown.
The study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health , believes that infants of women who continued to smoke while pregnant were notably grumpy.
Chemicals from cigarettes are known to harm the development of the brains of babies in the womb. Tobacco can affect the growth of a foetus and are also linked to low birth weight, birth defects and increased risk of cot death.
Researchers at Britain’s York University, who assessed 18,000 babies born between 2000 and 2002, as well as their mothers, suggested that women who smoke heavily in pregnancy had the most difficult infants with the worst moods.
“We know that children in later life suffer adverse effects from passive smoking in the womb, so it’s not surprising to find subtle signs of behaviour differences in the first few months of life,” Dr Kate Pickett of York University was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail of UK.
Mothers who kicked the habit ended up with the best behaved babies. These babies had the lowest chances of unpredictable behaviour, were receptive to new things and had regular eating and sleeping patterns, the report said.
“Consistent with this, women who quit smoking in pregnancy have better general functioning, including more sustained relationships, more skillfulness in use of community resources and less disrupted and stressful life circumstances and are less likely to have a history of social problems and antisocial behaviour compared to pregnancy smokers,” the research suggested.
Interestingly, babies of recent quitters were shown to be even more easy-going than those born to women who had never smoked or had stopped years earlier.
Sources: The Times Of India