Mothers warned on smoking

Mothers who smoke more than six cigarettes a day during
pregnancy are more likely to have babies who develop childhood
disorders, according to a Department for Education and
Skills’ report.

Despite the practical difficulties for professionals in helping
pregnant women to stop smoking when they may already be under
severe stress, the need to press on has never been stronger, says
the report.

Stress and anxiety during pregnancy are also linked to behaviour
problems that develop later in children. In women who were most
anxious in late pregnancy and who gave birth to boys, the
sons’ risk of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder was
twice that in the general population.

Regular home visits by nurses during pregnancy and in the
child’s first two years had a positive impact on vulnerable
families, added the report.

– Support from the Start from

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