Smoking while pregnant changes baby’s DNA, studies show
Smoking while pregnant once again comes under the spotlight as studies show it is harmful to unborn babies.
Women who smoke while pregnant may alter the DNA of their developing foetus, according to an international study of more than 6,000 women and children.
Doctors have long warned women to avoid cigarettes while pregnant because smoking can lead to stillbirth or babies born with cleft palate, lung disease, or neurobehavioural problems.
Despite these warnings, more than 11 per cent of Australian women continue to smoke while pregnant, exposing their foetuses to chemicals in cigarette smoke that pass through the barrier of the mother’s placenta.
Key points arising from the Study.
- Large study consolidates previous evidence of link between smoking and changes in DNA
- Mothers of 13 per cent of 6,000 babies in study smoked regularly
- These babies had changes in DNA in over 6,000 places, about half these locations involved a single gene