Intrauterine hypoxia seems responsible for the growth retardation in smokers' babies as in babies of mothers living at high altitudes. The babies of smoking mothers show little excess of congenital malformations, if any. Healthy children of smokers are sick more frequently primarily respiratory illness than those of nonsmokers. Concerning long-term effects, smoking during pregnancy seems to be associated with a slight impairment of mental and physical growth. From the polemics on cause smoking and association smoker regarding the effects of parental smoking on the health of the fetus, the conclusion must be that health workers involved in obstetrics have great responsibilities in the antismoking campaign. Maternal smoking reduces the birthweight by g dose-response relationship , shifting the birthweight and length distribution to the left. There is less preeclamptic toxemia in smokers than in nonsmokers, but a higher incidence of antepartum hemorrhage and placental separation. This symptom of compensatory placental hypertrophy cannot avert some impairment of fetal nutrition.
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