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Mother Smoking - Term Paper Example

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This paper called "Mother Smoking" describes the harmful effects of mother smoking while carrying a baby. The author outlines poor language skills and cognitive problems, an impact on the fetus, impact on body development…
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Mother Smoking
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Download file to see previous pages Drugs can also have an impact on the fetus. Drugs like cocaine can reduce the birth rate, the length of the baby, and the baby's head circumference can be smaller. Alcohol can lead to fetal alcohol syndrome for the child, which can include facial deformities, "defective limbs, face, and heart" (Santrock, p. 72).
Years ago it was also shown that environmental poisons like radioactive affected the fetus. As an example, the Chernobyl Nuclear Power plant spread radioactive contamination that spread well beyond the local area. As a result, many children were born with deformities and health problems. Environmental hazards that come from carbon monoxide, lead, or mercury can affect a child's mental development over time.
Genetically, there are several disorders that can happen in utero. PKU or Phenylketonuria is a genetic disorder that does not allow amino acids to metabolize in the body. Sickle-cell anemia also is a genetic disorder that "impairs the body's red blood cells" (Santrock, p. 59).
Parents do not seem to see the effects that their behavior can have on their babies. I have seen many people who continue to smoke or drink during their pregnancy and I never could understand why. I asked a mother once and she said that she did not think that her drinking alcohol or smoking could actually harm her baby because she was protected in the womb. This, of course, is not true, but I think that people want to believe certain things so that they do not have to stop their own behaviors. As you said in your post, even a little alcohol can cause a problem for a fetus. I wonder why more mothers do not understand that they are putting their babies at risk when they do these behaviors.
I think it is sad when parents cannot stop drinking or smoking for the nine months that they carry a child. I often wonder if this is some sort of rebellion against having a child in the first place. Perhaps some mothers do not want the baby to dictate to them what they can and cannot do, or perhaps the addiction to these substances is just too much for them to handle on their own; perhaps they need help to stop. 
I found particularly interesting the idea that a mother who is smoking is more likely to produce a child with attention deficit disorder than one who is not smoking during pregnancy. This fact alone may be a reason why so many children are diagnosed with ADD or ADHD when they get to school. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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