Tweet By Michelle RobertsHealth reporter, BBC NewsThe risk of cleft lip goes up by 28% if the mother is a smokerWomen who smoke while pregnant should be aware that they are increasing the chance their baby will be born malformed, say experts.The risk for having a baby with missing or deformed limbs or a cleft lip is over 25% higher for smokers, data show.Along with higher risks of miscarriage and low birth weight, it is another good reason to encourage women to quit, say University College London doctors.In England and Wales 17% of women smoke during pregnancy.And among under 20s the figure is 45%.Although most will go on to have a healthy baby, smoking can cause considerable damage to the unborn child.Missing limbsResearchers now estimate that each year in England and Wales several hundred babies are born with a physical defect directly caused by their mother’s smoking.Every year in England and Wales around 3,700 babies in total are born with such a condition.The experts base their calculations on 172 research papers published over the last 50 years, which looked at maternal smoking and birth defects.The findings, from 174,000 cases of malformation and 11.7 million healthy births, revealed that smoking increased the risk of many abnormalities.The chance of a baby being born with missing or deformed limbs is 26% higher, and cleft lip or palate is 28% more likely.Similarly, the risk of clubfoot 28% greater, and gastrointestinal defects 27% more. Skull defects are 33% more likely, and eye defects 25% more common. The greatest increase in risk – of 50% – was for a condition called gastroschisis, where parts of the stomach or intestines protrude through the skin.Professor Allan Hackshaw, who led the research, suspects many women who smoke while pregnant do not know about these risks.“There’s still this idea among some women that if you smoke the baby will be small and that will make it easier when it comes to the delivery.Women should quit smoking before becoming pregnant, or very early on, to reduce the risks “But what is not appreciated is that smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of defects in the child that are life-long.”He said very few public health educational policies mention birth defects when referring to smoking and those that do are not very specific – this is largely because of past uncertainty over which ones are directly linked.“Now we have this evidence, advice should be more explicit about the kinds of serious defects such as deformed limbs, and facial and gastrointestinal malformations that babies of mothers who smoke during pregnancy could suffer from,” he said.Of the 700,000 babies born each year in England and Wales, around 120,000 babies are born to mums who smoke.Amanda Sandford of Action on Smoking and Health said: “This study shows some of the worst outcomes of smoking during pregnancy. Pregnant smokers will be shocked to learn that their nicotine habit could cause eye or limb deformities in their baby.“There is clearly a need to raise awareness of these risks among girls and to ensure pregnant women are given all the support they need to help them quit smoking and to stay stopped after the birth.”Basky Thilaganathan of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists said women who struggled to quit should at least cut down on how much they smoke.Professor Hackshaw said the risk was likely dose-related – meaning the more a woman smokes, the bigger the risk to her unborn child. Sharing is caring! Share Share HealthLifestyle Smoking during pregnancy ‘raises birth defect risk’ by: – July 12, 2011 Share 11 Views no discussions
The matchday served us some cracking action from across the grounds, with the Dansoman result standing out. But the storylines offered good subplots too, as Kweku Arhin and Gary Al-Smith report.CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL MATCHDAY 19 SUMMARY1. Liberty’s streak is no flukeThe Dansoman side are unbeaten in the second round of the league after two home wins and two draws. Extend it further back, and we’re talking a team unbeaten in seven games.Their win over Kotoko on Sunday proved Liberty will be no walkovers and should be taken seriously. This result comes after picking points at the dreaded Dormaa and holding their own away against Edubiase. Teams will have to be weary when facing Liberty and more importantly, Kennedy Ashia, who increased his goal tally to nine on Sunday. The Dansoman side currently lie fourth on the table a position they hold only because they have an inferior head to head record but in reality, they are second.2. Kotoko aren’t as good as they thinkThe arrival of David Duncan seemed to be the breath of fresh air Kotoko needed to kick start their league defence. In truth, the first few matches played under the ex-Hearts manager were encouraging. They even wrapped up the first round with a 4-0 demolition of Heart of Lions. Then the second round started. And it’s been poor. Their latest defeat accentuates what has been a bad season, if their previous three back-to-back league wins are taken in perspective. The underlying fact in all this is the issues in Kotoko might be beyond coaching. Sacking Didi Dramani may well turn out to have been a wrong decision, especially if Duncan follows suit. A thorough assessment has to be done of the playing body. As a fan rightly questioned: “Are these players currently in the team Kotoko material?”3. WAFA are formidable opponentsSpeaking of WAFA, that group of youngsters were expected to find the going tough in the Premier League. But the new entrants have, under their Dutch coach, been arguably the team to watch. When given a good pitch, the youngsters dazzle with their sleek passing, movement and most importantly, results. Hasaacas were the latest to be schooled on Sunday after getting a drubbing, 4-1. The highlight was the captain’s brace from Martin Antwi. The Sogakope-based side’s main threat is the fact that any player can harm the opposition. Well drilled and ready to take on the league, the worry, however, has been whether they can maintain the nucleus of the team to launch a title-charge next season. We’ll never know until then, but for now, they are formidable and will wreak havoc to any good side in the league.4. Ashgold are champions-electBarring any colossal downfall, the title should end up in Obuasi to end Ashgold’s 20 year wait for a league crown. The Miners have been in scintillating form both at home and on the road. Bashiru Hayford has put together a winning side capable of upsetting any side at any ground. Their almost gung-ho football is built on an all-round team ready for the title run in. The midfield component of Ato Bissah and Eric Opoku will dominate any team. Winger Bernard Morrison will run teams ragged and Yakubu Mohammed will finish teams off with cheeky ease. The attacking side has not only been the major point but their defence has been tight, too. Mohammed Kadri and Awudu Nafiu have marshalled Ashgold’s backline very well and it is only a matter of time for the rest of league to send congratulatory messages to Obuasi.5. Hearts need a new gameplanThey recorded a 0-0 draw in Accra (with Allies) to leave them with a win, two draws and a defeat in the second round so far. After these four games, Hearts have scored three and conceded four. Whatever title ambitions the Phobians harbored at the start of the season are petering out. Mathematically, though, the Phobians still have 33 more points to fight for and could end up in the top four positions. Not easy, but this should serve as motivation, starting from their trip to Sunyani to face B.A United next weekend. The Phobians need to adapt a new strategy either in terms of motivation, psychology, tactics or personnel as their current formula yields almost no result. The cry of many so far has been to say this Phobian team is “too young” or that the rigorous demands of the league have no mercy for youngsters.But the argument is immediately floored by another young team in the league – WAFA. They’ve been brilliant so far, and third top three position is evidence. The onus now lies on Herbert Addo to prove why he was sought after last season after performing a miraculous escape for Inter Allies. Or was that run a fluke?6. Nathaniel Asamoah is still the man The top scorer had been quiet since the second round started, mainly because he’s been out of town sorting out a move to Egypt. The talks collapsed, a development which surely benefits the First Capital Plus Premier League.But he’s back, and how! Two goals against Heart of Lions takes the Medeama man’s tally to 13 for the season and he’ll no doubt extend it before the season ends. His closest rivals, Nuhu Fuseini (Edubiase), and Kennedy Ashia (Liberty) are on nine goals each and will need big performances to overtake the dreadlocked forward. He’s already said that his target is 20. And with 11 games more to play, who can bet against him reaching it?7. The tightness of the league is good to seeSix points separate ninth placed Hearts of Oak from 15th placed Olympics. And five points separate the Phobians from second placed Wa All Stars. A goal scored or conceded changes the phase of the league and these are signs of the competitive setup. There is all to play for in the league as all the teams – bar Ashantigold – could be drawn into relegation. All teams will approach games in a serious manner and this makes the league a good spectacle. Rumours of matches being sold will also die down for the most part of the remianing fixtures. If this matchday taught us anything, it is that all final positions will go down to the wire as there will be constantly unpredictable movement on the log.CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL MATCHDAY 19 SUMMARY–Follow our coverage on Twitter with the #JoySports hashtag and our various bulletins on air.