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Effect of Maternal Prenatal Smoking on Infant Growth and Development of Obesity

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It is well-documented that infants born to smoking mothers weigh less at birth than infants born to nonsmoking mothers. The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of prenatal smoking on the development of later infant obesity. Evidence suggests prenatally smoke-exposed infants catch up in weight by age 6 months, although results of this accelerated growth are inconsistent across the body of research literature. In this descriptive study of 630 infants, catch-up growth rate continued and smoke-affected infants were more likely to be obese than their nonsmoke-affected counterparts from age 6 to 14 months. The findings of this study provide insight about the potential effects of maternal prenatal smoking on the risk of early obesity. This paper also discusses the importance of assisting mothers to cease smoking while pregnant.
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Keywords: infant; mother-child relations; mothers; obesity; risk; smoking

Document Type: Standard Article

Affiliations: 1: NANCY SOWAN is on the faculty in the School of Nursing at The University of Vermont in Bington, Vermont. Her clinical background is in community and public health nursing. 2: Marilyn Stember is on the faculty in the School of Nursing at the University of Colorado in Denver, Colorado. Her clinical background is in community health nursing.

Publication date: 2000-07-01

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