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Stress Main Cause of Smoking After Childbirth

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Mothers who quit smoking in pregnancy are more likely to light up again after their baby is born if they feel stressed. 

By Mary Sauer

Mothers everywhere understand the stress caused by the birth of a child. Juggling feedings, coping with extreme loss of sleep and the overall stress of meeting a newborn's needs may create enough stress to encourage mothers who quit smoking because of their pregnancy to pick up the habit again.

Interviews of 1,000 new mothers revealed that, although more mothers are making the choice to give up smoking when they learn they are pregnant, approximately 90 percent will return to smoking within the first year of their child’s life, according to a University of East Anglia study.

 

In addition to revealing stress as the main reason for picking up smoking again, this study also found beliefs about smoking were wildly inaccurate and further contributing to smoking in new mothers. Many believed smoking after they had given birth has no effect on the health of their child.

 

Researchers hope to use the information provided by this study to develop more effective prevention methods for new moms who are at an increased risk of returning to their smoking habit after their children are born.

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