As I continue my research on smoking and pregnancy, I have developed new insight on parents choices and the unborn child. Society and science have emphasized that maternal smoking is a major hazard to the unborn child. Smoking reduces the supply of oxygen and can decrease fetal growth and development. As I continue to research the effects of smoking, there is growing evidence that a father’s smoking may also affect fetal development. Unborn children of smoking men have a higher rate of prenatal mortality, and this may be due to smoking changing components of the male sperm. Is this something that all smoking males are aware of? We focus so much on the mother’s choices; however are fathers researching their choices and the effects on the unborn child? For those that are visual learners, I have created the below chart that illustrates how both parents’ smoking can affect the unborn child.
In our western society, we have become accustomed to the idea that women have the same rights as men. However, are we also asking men to reflect on their smoking choices at preconception, prenatal and postnatal? If not, then we should try to educate fathers on their roles, is this not fair?
For my next post, I will be interviewing my husband and get his perspective on his choices and the effects on our baby.