After getting a positive pregnancy test in a doctor’s office, many OB/GYNs will instantly caution an expectant mother of all the dos and don’ts of pregnancy. They will inquire of various habits and give their recommendations of what the mom needs to do in order to have a healthy pregnancy.
One definite recommendation, if the mother-to-be is a smoker, would be to give up the habit. And, there are several available products that can successfully help with quitting. But, a new study has linked stop-smoking treatments, nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), to colic in newborns. Therefore, one should cautiously be aware of the side effects of smoking, as well as the adverse effects of the stop smoking products themselves.
A new study sought to examine the role of nicotine in the development of colic by studying NRT users and comparing this exposure to exposure to tobacco smoke versus no exposure to either NRT or tobacco smoke in pregnant women. The new study suggests it may be nicotine that is at the root of increased risk of colic in infants exposed to these stop-smoking treatments.
The observational study reviewed more than 63,000 infants. The participants were provided information on nicotine exposure in utero and colic symptoms, as recorded at age six months of age, according to Modern Medicine.
Ioanna Milidou, M,D,, from the Department of Pediatrics, Herning Regional Hospital, Denmark, and colleagues reported their findings in the journal Pediatrics.
According to the authors, eight to 10 percent of infants in Western countries demonstrate signs of colic in the first three months of life.
Overall, said the researchers, 46,660 infants (73.9 percent) were not exposed to nicotine during pregnancy, 207 (0.3 percent) were exposed to NRT, 15,016 (23.8 percent) were exposed to cigarette smoking, and 1,245 (2.0 percent) were exposed to both NRT and cigarette smoking, wrote Modern Medicine. A total of 4,974 (7.9 percent) babies met infantile colic criteria.
Because most of the mothers were exposed in some way during and after pregnancy to nicotine, the authors could not distinguish between early, late gestational, and postnatal exposure to nicotine; however, the link between smoking during the first and second trimesters and infantile colic was less than for smoking throughout the pregnancy.
Partners’ smoking was not associated with infantile colic after adjustment for maternal smoking, the researchers found.