Close Close
Mother and Baby

Smoking During Pregnancy Could Affect The Growth Of Your Grandchildren

The negative consequences of smoking during pregnancy have been well documented, but according to new research it’s not just your child that could be affected, but your future grandchildren too.

The research, published in the American Journal of Human Biology, reveal that grandchildren’s development is affected even when their own mother is a non-smoker, revealing quite what a potent impact smoking has on genetics.
 
A total of 4,541 expecting mothers were involved in the study. They were sent six questionnaires during pregnancy, in which they were asked to reveal their current smoking habits and those of their parent an partners.
 
Their children’s development were studied from the age of seven and every year after until the age of 17 for body mass index, lean mass, fat mass and waist circumference to determine whether prenatal smoke exposure of either parent is associated with their growth and whether there was a difference between maternal and paternal grandmothers' smoking habits.
 
READ MORE: EATING JUNK FOOD BEFORE GETTING PREGNANT ‘RAISES RISK OF PREMATURE BIRTH’
 
The study found that the consequences of smoking can have ‘sex-specific transgenerational effects.’
 
With non-smoking mothers, if a paternal grandmother smoked during pregnancy, her granddaughters tended to have a slightly increased fat mass and increases in bone mass. Both her granddaughters and grandsons tended to have greater bone mass and lean (muscle) mass.
 
If a maternal grandmother smoked during pregnancy, but the mother did not, the boys became heavier than expected with increasing age—an association that was particularly due to lean rather than fat mass, reflected in increased strength and fitness.
 
When both the maternal grandmother and the mother had smoked, girls had reduced height, weight, and fat/lean/bone mass when compared with girls born to smoking mothers whose own mothers had not smoked.
 
READ MORE: HOW TO QUIT SMOKING NOW YOU'RE TRYING TO CONCEIVE OR PREGNANT
 
Commenting on the study, RCOG spokesperson, Dr Patrick O’Brien, said: ‘Existing research tells us that smoking during pregnancy can have adverse effects on fetal development and can result in having a low-birth weight baby, preterm birth or stillbirth.
 
‘This new research is particularly interesting as it focuses on the transgenerational effects of prenatal smoking and adds to the existing evidence base on the negative impacts of smoking to the unborn child.
 
Dr O'Brien said that all mums-to-be who smoke 'should be offered advice and support to help them give up or abstain.’

 
Related content:

Comments

No comments have been made yet.


Chinese Gender predictor
Chinese Gender Predictor

Are you expecting a boy or a girl? Tell us the month you conceived and how old you are, and this clever little tool will predict the rest! 

Nappy rash is painful for parents as well as for your baby
Nappy rash is painful for parents as well as for your baby

Read Dr Pixie's guide to learn how to deal with nappy rash

The Magic Sleepsuit
The secret to a quiet night’s sleep – The Magic Sleepsuit

If you’re little one is struggling to settle now they’ve outgrown the swaddling stage, this could be the answer to your sleep-deprived prayers!

Celebrating parenting's small wins
Celebrating parenting's small wins

As mums, we're constantly told to enjoy every moment; in reality, parenting can sometimes be challenging. That's where small wins come in...

Subscribe button May
Subscribe to Mother&Baby

Be the best mum you can be and let Mother & Baby guide you along the way. Each issue is jam packed with REAL advice from mums just like you. Subscribe today & get a free welcome gift!

Ovulation Calculator
Ovulation calculator
Trying for a baby? Work out when you're most fertile to increase your chances of getting pregnant with our easy-to-use ovulation calculator.
Pregnant woman
Due Date Calculator

When is your baby due? If you’re having trouble remembering dates and counting up the days on your fingers and toes, don’t worry – use our due date calculator.

Get M&B in your inbox!

Sign up to Mother&Baby today and get news and advice about your body and your baby straight to your inbox every week. 

Lemonade Money
It’s time to make sure your loved ones are protected

Every parent knows the importance of planning ahead; from the new school shoes, to your little one’s education, you want to fill their future with hopes and dreams. Yet are you one of the 80% of adults here in the UK that has no life cover?