New 4-D ultrasound scans reveal harmful effects of maternal smoking

Ultrasound Scans Reveal Harmful Effects Of Maternal Smoking
Ultrasound Scans Reveal Harmful Effects Of Maternal Smoking

It's been known that smoking while pregnant can harm babies, and now researchers in England believe they've been able to show the effects using ultrasound scans.Researchers at Lancaster and Durham universities monitored 20 mothers - four of whom smoked an average of 14 cigarettes a day.

They studied 4-D ultrasound scans at 24, 28, 32 and 36 weeks and found that babies whose mothers smoked touched their mouths and faces much more than babies of non-smokers.

Researchers think this shows that smoking actually slows down a baby's central nervous system development because, while a baby who touches its face is normal, after a certain time in the womb the touching tends to stop. That wasn't the case for babies of smokers, which means something went wrong.

Researchers say that the ultrasound scans are helping them learn more about the dangers of smoking during pregnancy and how it affects the fetus in ways never seen before.

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