Photo: The Telegraph
Researchers in the UK are hoping these stunning ultrasound photos will discourage pregnant mothers from smoking. The top set shows a baby in the womb grimacing and rubbing its face while its mom smokes a cigarette, and the bottom set shows a baby of the same gestation whose mom does not smoke. The difference in the babies’ stress levels is painfully obvious.
These moving 4D ultrasound photos were part of a study by Dr. Nadja Reissland at the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough, UK, who monitored 20 pregnant mothers, four of whom smoked an average of 14 cigarettes a day. The same unborn babies were photographed via 4D ultraosound at24, 28, 32 and 36 weeks. Reissland explained that the photos are so telling because babies in the womb usually move their mouths and touch themselves less as they gain more control the closer they get to birth. Yet, the babies whose moms were smoking moved their mouths, appeared to grimace, and touched their faces frequently while their moms were smoking, indicating distress.
Rather than chastising them, Dr. Reissland praised the smoking moms in the study, because they overcame the stigma they faced as smoking pregnant moms in order to get the results that will hopefully help encourage other pregnant moms to quit.
She also says that the study indicated that babies carried by smokers may have delayed development of the central nervous system, and that she wants to continue it with a bigger sample to get more concrete results about the effects of smoking on unborn babies.
But for me, these pictures say a thousands words! I pray smoking moms who see these will think twice before they light up while pregnant.