Pregnant smokers more likely to have mental disorders
Smoking during pregnancy can be a touchy subject. The negative side effects for both mother and fetus are widely understood, but yet some women simply can't quit until after the baby is born.
A recent study suggests that, for at least some smokers, the reason may be linked to a mental disorder.
Not that smoking while pregnant causes mental disorders (or vice versa), but when researchers began studying pregnant woman, they found that -- on average -- women who were dependent on nicotine during their pregnancy were significantly more likely to have a mental disorder than their non-smoking counterparts.
While the prospect of pregnant smokers with major depressive or panic disorder doesn't sound very positive, the bright side is that now that this link is understood, doctors can begin screening pregnant women who can't quit for mental conditions that may have previously gone undetected. Treating these disorders is not only helpful in it's own right, it might these women put down the pack.