Tags: smoking | babies | ultrasound | pregnancy | grimace

Smoking Babies Ultrasound Shows Fetuses Grimacing When Moms Light Up

By    |   Wednesday, 25 Mar 2015 08:59 AM

Researchers have released a study of ultrasound scans that show unborn babies appearing to grimace when their cigarette-smoking mothers light up during pregnancy.

“This is yet further evidence of the negative effects of smoking in pregnancy,” study co-author Brian Francis said in a news release.

Examining high-definition ultrasounds of 20 healthy fetuses, including four whose mothers smoked, scientists observed that fetuses of mothers who smoked had more mouth movements than those of nonsmokers.

The increased hand and mouth movements are similar to those of fetuses whose mothers highly stressed or depressed but more significant, The Huffington Post reported.

The study, published in the journal Acta Paediatrica, found that smoking affected "fine grain behaviors" of unborn babies, lead researcher Nadja Reissland said, according to USA Today.

"Normal fetal behavior shows fewer movements but the images suggest that fetuses in smokers are less mature in their behavior," Reissland said.

The images may indicate central nervous system damage that isn’t apparent in the babies, who were born at a normal birth weight, Health.com reported.

“It could be because the nicotine in cigarettes binds to receptors in the brain, and that leads ultimately to premature brain cell death,” Reissland said, according to Health.com. “So it could be that the fetuses of smoking mothers have more dying brain cells, and therefore they show more immature behavior.”

The scientists hope to complete more extensive research with a larger group of pregnant mothers and followup studies after birth.

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Researchers have released a study of ultrasound scans that show unborn babies appearing to grimace when their cigarette-smoking mothers light up during pregnancy.
smoking, babies, ultrasound, pregnancy, grimace
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2015-59-25
Wednesday, 25 Mar 2015 08:59 AM
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