The Link between Smoking and Autism
The fact that smoking during pregnancy can lead to a great deal of complications that will affect the baby's health in many ways is nothing new. Birth defects like congenial heart defects, low birth weight, placental issues, preterm labor, and other difficulties have been named over and over again. However, there are new studies arising that when the mother smokes while she is pregnant, the baby is prone to suffer from autism.
Scientists and researchers from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's, which is a surveillance program in the US, were able to determine that a high percentage of children that suffer from high-functioning autism were born to a smoker. The children born with Asperger's Disorder are one example. Past data has shown that these children are likely to be born to women who are smokers during their period of gestation. This data determined that there was a 13% elevated chance of autism among mother that smoked while they were pregnant in deference to those who did not.
While maternal smoking and autism do have a link, it is always of great importance to remember that it is still not clear if smoking is the cause for developing autism or if it is just a risk factor that enhances the chances of getting diagnosed with autism at birth. There is still research that has to be carried out to determine if indeed smoking during pregnancy plays a big role in high-functioning autism development.
There are other researches that we do have to keep present, as not only smoking has to do with birth defects and other complications. In 2011 studies determined that pregnant women having the right prenatal care and ingesting vitamins decreased the chances of having their baby born with autism. This even happened on mom's that due to genetics, were predisposed to having a child with autism.
Another research done suggests that women who had the need to use antidepressants while they were pregnant had a higher risk of giving birth to a child with autism. Women on Prozax, Paxil, Zoloft and Luvox had even a higher risk of 75% of their baby developing autism.
There is definitely more research to be done to be able to determine that the link between autism and maternal smoking is strong, however no woman should smoke during pregnancy. Smoker mothers should plan their pregnancy and attempt to quit smoking before getting pregnant with the aid of Nicotine Gum for example that you can easily purchase at stores like Discount Medical Supplies. Smoking will also have a direct effect on fertility so that is another reason to quit before trying to have a baby.