Consumption of vitamin C during pregnancy can reduce the risk of lung problems in babies born to women who smoke, reveals a new study.
The research presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies meeting in Washington D.C., studied 217 women who were less than 22 weeks into their pregnancy. Of these 70 women were non-smokers. Rest 70 women were given vitamin C every day and remaining 77 were treated with placebos. Apart from this, all of them were given pre-natal vitamins.
The researchers tested the lung size, movement and lung sounds of the babies after 48 hours of their birth. The study found that the babies from the vitamin C group had improved lung function and only 21 percent of them had wheezing sounds compared to 40 percent of those in the placebo group and 27 percent in the non-smokers' group.
The researchers maintained that if pregnant women quit smoking they will deliver healthy babies. "Getting women to quit smoking during pregnancy has to be priority one, but this finding provides a way to potentially help the infants born of the roughly 50 percent of pregnant smokers who won't or just can't quit smoking no matter what is tried," said study co-author Eliot Spindel, senior scientist at the Oregon National Primate Research Center at Oregon Health and Science University, in a press release.
The Centers for Disease Control states that smoking during pregnancy results in high miscarriage risk, premature delivery, lower birth weight and other birth issues.
Lead author Cynthia T McEvoy, MD, MCR, FAAP, associate professor of pediatrics at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) Doernbecher Children's Hospital, explained that the vitamin C treatment helped those babies who had higher chances of getting health problems during their development from their mother's smoking during pregnancy.