Smoking during Pregnancy

Literature Review


Cases of women smoking during pregnancy have been rampant in the last few years. Health practitioners have warned pregnant women to desist from this vice arguing that the vice is associated with undesirable health complications including infant mortality, premature delivery, and congenital disabilities. In most instances, individuals tend to associate smoking with cancer and heart-related diseases while ignoring the severe effects that the vice has on pregnant women (Reynolds, 2010). Moreover, women who smoke cigarettes during their pregnancy also pose other health-related complications to their infant babies. The risks include abnormal infant weight during birth, increased cases of the baby being sick, and the sudden death syndrome (SIDS) (Ben natan).

It is therefore significant for health experts to help the society at large to address this issue to ensure quality living for pregnant women during the pregnancy period. According to health statistics, cases of miscarriage are more common among women who smoke as compared to non-smoking women. This study is aimed at reviewing the previously conducted research on smoking during pregnancy, analyzing and comparing the research questions, comparing the sample population that were affected  by the vice in the previous studies, identifying the limitations of those studies and finally recommending the gaps that needs to be addressed in the future research on the topic.

Comparison of the Research Questions

The research is aimed at determining the effect of smoking during pregnancy on the body composition of the infant offspring (Ino,2011). Moreover the research tends to identify the factors that push pregnant women to smoke. To achieve this research uses the Theory of Planned behavior thus proving knowledge on behavioral influences during pregnancy (ben Natan). The research question, how cigarette smoking among pregnant women causes pregnancy hypertension among other effects such as infant mortality is addressed by the research topic (adelstein, 2017). Moreover, PICOT research tends to focus on determining the impacts e-cigarettes on pregnant women as compared to regular smoking during the pregnancy periods. The study also analyses the effects of maternal cigarette smoking on violence by an intimate partner before and during the periods of pregnancy. In this research, a new dimension on the research topic is analyzed, i.e., the tendency of pregnant women smoking as a way of dealing with violent intimate partners (Faustich, 2015).  It is worth noticing that most of the research questions from the past studies on the topic are distinct since the researches were conducted to determine various aspects of the topic Smoking during Pregnancy. However, research on the effect of active smoking versus passive smoking during pregnancy (Dimanti,2018), and the PICOT  research question are somewhat similar.

Comparison of the Sample Population

In the collection of data for analysis, questionnaires were administered to over 200 women smokers aged between 19-46 in the country of Israel (ben natan). In another research, the sample population was composed of over 2508 children in grade 4 who underwent through a passive smoking screening and lifestyle disease screening (t ino). The sample population for the research was also composed of mothers who lived in the U.S who had delivered live neonates in the periods between the year 2004-2008. The women were also subjected to pregnancy assessment tests (Faustich). In another research, a survey was conducted in two government maternity hospitals in Athens, Greece between the period of May 2016 and January 2018 (diamante). In summary, the sample population for various researches was composed of pregnant women who were either passive or active cigarette smokers and several tests were done to ascertain the effects the vice had on the health of their infant babies.

Comparison of the Limitation of the Study

The research is faced by various limitations including the risk of biasness during the collection of data in various maternal facilities within the country since it is unclear on the type of criteria that was used in selecting the sample population (adelstein). Moreover, there is limited information that is provided on the samples used as factors such as financial stability and culture might also lead to violence during pregnancy (faustich). The strength of the research is also questionable since, in data collection, a study was conducted mostly on children of the same age and therefore lacked diversity, and thus the existence of selection bias as only the 4th-grade children were involved in the study (Reynolds). In general, most of the research lacked credibility due to selection bias in the collection of data for the study.

Conclusion and Recommendations

Smoking during pregnancy has had severe effects on pregnant women before and during the period of pregnancy. The results are significant to both pregnant women and their unborn babies. This owed to the fact that smoking cigarettes might cause blockages to the placenta and thus creating complications. The various researches were conducted to identify the effects of cigarette smoking on pregnant women and thus enlightening them on the need to stop such vice. They further argue that if the vice is not regulated during the pregnancy period, smoking women might lose their infant babies. Future recommendations on further research include the analysis of ways through which smoking mothers can control the activity. Moreover, health practitioners should be advised on the need to counsel pregnant women to avoid alcohol and substance abuse and their effects on future pregnancies.