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A 50-year-old member asked:

Did smoking during pregnancy cause my baby to have meconium aspiration syndrome?

3 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics 46 years experience
Unlikely: Meconium aspiration is a complex interplay between the stability of the baby at the end of pregnancy and some stressful event (like tangling in the umbilical cord reducing its blood flow).The stress causes release of poo into the amnionic fluid before birth. Some may drift toward the intake hole of the lungs & enter. If poo enters the lungs it can cause aspiration pneumonia (mas).
Dr. Nikolaos Zacharias
Maternal-Fetal Medicine 26 years experience
Perhaps.: Smoking reduces your blood's capacity to carry oxygen to the placenta and fetus, therefore predisposing the baby to mas . I agree that mas is likely due to acute events, but chronic placental failure does not help..
Dr. Johanna Fricke
Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics 50 years experience
Anything that lowers: Oxygen to the fetus significantly can cause passage of meconium. The effects of tobacco smoke in the fetus can be small head/body size, decreased gray matter, abnormal development of white matter, language & visual-spatial deficits, adhd, & behavior problems. Smoking after delivery makes your baby a passive smoker, even if you smoke outside, which is not good for his lungs or his development.

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Last updated Dec 9, 2013
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