In Australia pregnant teens smoke on purpose to have smaller babies during labor

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Pregnant teenagers in Australia have taken to a new and dangerous trend that they believe would make childbirth easier: smoking.

Everyone knows that pregnancy is not easy. The changes in a woman’s body abound, both physically and emotionally, internally and externally.

Their bodies swell. Their internal organs get pushed around. They experience mood swings, morning sickness, and on top of that there is also the fear and anxiety about childbirth.

It can intimidate even the most seasoned of mothers.

Now imagine underprepared, uninformed teenagers going through the same experience. The picture doesn’t look pretty.

It’s scary.

According to a Daily Telegraph report, pregnant teenagers in Australia have taken to a new and dangerous trend that they believe would make childbirth easier.

Smoking.

Pregnant teens smoke on purpose

By smoking during their pregnancy, they believe that they’re making their babies smaller by reducing their birthweight. They expect this to reduce the pain they would have to endure later during labor.

They don’t care that they’re damaging the health of their unborn baby; all they want is to experience less pain.

"They had read on packets that smoking can reduce the birth weight of your baby, which is obviously not how the public health message is intended to be taken,” Simone Dennis of the Australian National University told the New Zealand Herald.

He added:

“The worst thing that could happen to them was to have an enormous baby. Some were young, 16 or 17 years, and their overriding fear was 'Oh my God, I'm going to have an enormous child,’ so they were actively using cigarettes to medicate against that.

“Some had even taken it up for the first time for that very reason, and some smoked harder, hoping the promise on the packet would come true. If you smoked more, you could make it better.

“I was really struck by that.”

Because the warning on the cigarette packs say that smoking can result in the reduction of the child's birth weight, pregnant teens don’t see the warning for what it is.

Instead, they see it as a means to experience an easier pregnancy, said The Independent.

Experts universally agree that smoking, whether during pregnancy or not, is one of the most dangerous things you can do to your body.

Smoking while pregnant causes low birth weight, higher incidence of SIDS, and birth defects. And even if you do not smoke cigarettes, inhalation of second hand smoke is equally dangerous.

In children exposure to secondhand smoke increases a risk for problems, from asthma and SIDS to poor cognitive function and obesity. It's sad and alarming how these teenagers ignore all these things in exchange for something they do not completely comprehend.

 

Republished with permission from: theAsianparent Philippines