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Teenagers smoke to help labour

5th October 2006

05102006_teenagesmoking1.jpgCaroline Flint, minister for Public Health, has said that pregnant teenagers smoke to try to reduce the size of their babies, thinking they can make delivery less painful.

She said that childbirth is no less painful if your baby is low weight, adding that "smoking is not the answer, pain relief is."

Studies show that women who smoke during pregnancy are three times more likely to have a low birthweight baby, but low birth weight is strongly linked to an increased risk of many health complications and miscarriage.

There is no evidence that having a smaller baby reduces pain in labour, said Gail Johnson, of the Royal College of Midwives.

The chief executive of the National Childbirth Trust, Belinda Phipps, said it showed a worrying lack of education among young women, and that although smoking reduces a baby's size, it can have a "devastating effect on the baby in lots of other ways".


 

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Comments

Martine Hamilton

Friday 6th October 2006 @ 10:48

Wouldn't it be easier if they used contraception and didn't get pregnant in the first place?


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