Post-pregnancy, Mothers Prone to Resume Smoking: Study

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A study has observed that most mothers who quit smoking during the pregnancy end up resuming it soon after the baby is born due to stress.

The researchers from the University of East Anglia (UEA) have also found that women who felt that their partners are more supportive or their family is supporting them have less chances of resuming smoking during the period.

“As many as 90 percent start (smoking) again within a year of their baby being born. This is particularly true among women in lower socio-economic groups,” said Dr Caitlin Notley from UEA’s Norwich Medical School.

The finding was based on interviews of more than 1,000 new mothers and the stress of caring for a newborn, sleepless nights, social pressure and the idea that they no longer need to protect the baby — are some of the reasons which prompt these mothers to resume smoking.

“Many women see smoking as a way a coping with stress. They also believe that physiological changes influence cigarette cravings, and that they no longer need to protect the baby from smoking’s harmful effects,” Dr Notley said.

Feeling low, lonely, tired, and coping with possible persistent crying by baby are some of the triggers which move them closer to pack of cigarettes. Most of these women reported that cravings for nicotine, which had lessened or stopped during pregnancy, returned soon after the baby’s birth.

However, in some caes social factors have played in. “Because social interaction is especially valued after childbirth, some women reported that their friends expected a return to smoking which influenced them to start again,” the research paper, which was published in the journal “Addiction” said.

Supportive families or partners are another major influence to keep many moms to keep away cigarettes, said the study.

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