A new study out of Norway suggests that women whose own mothers smoked while pregnant are at a higher risk for pregnancy complications.
Researchers in Norway and US studied data from over 74,000 Norwegian women who participated in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort (MoBa) Study between 1998-2008. The study found links between maternal smoking and higher risk of gestational diabetes, obesity and blood pressure problems during pregnancy:
The researchers found that the women who self-reported that their mothers had smoked while pregnant were 1.3 times as likely to have gestational diabetes in their own pregnancy. Beyond the study of gestational diabetes, the authors also found that women whose mothers smoked were at increased risk for high blood pressure and obesity.
Since a small number of women – only 91 – had two of these conditions, the authors looked at the data to determine if there was an increased risk for more than one outcome. They found that women exposed were twice as likely to have two of these conditions if their mother smoked while pregnant, compared to the unexposed.
Cupul-Uicab, LA, R Skjaerven, K Haug, KK Melve, SM Engel and MP Longnecker. 2011. In utero exposure to maternal tobacco smoke and subsequent obesity, hypertension and gestational diabetes among women in the MoBa cohort.
My own mother smoked while she was pregnant with me. When I was younger I blamed that fact for my slightly yellowed teeth. (Now I blame coffee.) With this new information, I’m going to also be aware of my increased risk factors for pregnancy related health problems. So far no sign of any of them but I’ll be trying to lay off the junk food for the rest of my pregnancy to keep myself healthy!