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Quantitative reasoning - Essay Example

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Here in the following discussion we are going to focus on how smoking by pregnant mothers can affect the health of infants and how such babies are at more risk of various illnesses in comparision to…
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Quantitative reasoning
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Quantitative reasoning

Download file to see previous pages... Tar coats the lungs, nicotine damages the nerve cells and carbon monoxide reduces the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood.
During pregnancy everything in a woman’s blood stream is transferred to the baby through the placenta and umbilical cord. The placenta and umbilical cord cannot filter out the poisonous carbon monoxide and nicotine, as a result, the toxins directly reach the blood stream of the unborn baby. Because of this the normal growth of the baby is hampered resulting in a low birth weight baby. Such babies have serious illnesses and breathing disorders and have to be kept in a newborn intensive care unit (NICU). Low birth weight can be due to poor growth before birth, preterm delivery or both reasons together. As the studies by the US Public Health Service say, in 2004, 11.9 percent of the babies born to smokers in the United States had low birth weight compared to 7.2 percent of babies born to non smokers.
Compared to non smoking mothers, smoking mothers have an increased risk of premature rupture of the membrane ie the sac that holds the baby inside the uterus breaks earlier than 37 weeks of pregnancy resulting in the birth of a premature baby. Consequently premature and low birth weight babies have an increased risk of chronic lifelong disabilities like cerebral palsy, mental retardation and learning problems. Premature babies may have underdeveloped lungs and brains and stand poor chance of survival in the early months after birth. In one of the recent studies as stated in an article of March of Dimes organization, women who smoke anytime during the month before pregnancy till the ending of the first trimester are more likely to deliver a baby with congenital heart defects. The risk increases with the increase in the number of cigarettes smoked. A 2003 study by the researchers of March of Dimes points that babies ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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