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Women with bad habits give birth to children with a smaller brain size

Women who abuse tobacco, alcohol or take drugs during pregnancy can give birth to a child with a smaller brain size, US scientists have found. Their research has been published in the medical journal Pediatrix .

These conclusions were drawn from a study of the brains of 35 children between the ages of 10 and 14. Those whose mothers used alcohol, cocaine, smoked tobacco or marijuana during pregnancy had a smaller head circumference, a smaller total brain volume and a lower content of nerve cells in it compared to peers whose mothers led a healthy lifestyle.

As study author Dr. Michael J. Rivkin of Harvard Medical School noted in an interview with Reuters, in cases where mothers had only one of the bad habits, deviations from the norm were insignificant, but when there were several at once, the likelihood of a negative effect on the brain future child increased significantly.

While our local studies cannot draw fundamental conclusions about the specific effect on the fetal brain of alcohol, tobacco or cocaine and tobacco use during pregnancy together, our data nevertheless suggest that these factors combined may have a long-term negative effect on children. brain ,” Rivkin noted.

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