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Br J Obstet Gynaecol. 1976 Apr;83(4):262-70.

Cigarette smoking and fetal breathing movements.

Abstract

Cigarette smoking caused a reduction in the incidence of fetal breathing movements in normal and abnormal pregnancies. The size of the reduction varied, being greatest in small-for-dates pregnancies and pregnancies complicated by fetal distress in labour and least in pre-eclamptic pregnancies. The fall in the amount of fetal breathing movements was significantly related to the rise in maternal plasma nicotine after smoking but was unrelated to the rise in barboxyhaemoglobin. Smoking non-nicotine (herbal) cigarettes produced increases in carboxyhaemoglobin concentrations similar to those observed after smoking tobacco cigarettes, and was not associated with a fall in the incidence of fetal breathing movements. Chewing gum containing nicotine produced rises in plasma nicotine concentration similar to those observed after smoking tobacco cigarettes and was associated with a significant reduction in the incidence of fetal breathing movements. Hence nicotine appeared to be the factor in cigarette smoke responsible for the reduction in the incidence of fetal breathing movements. Nicotine was present in the cord blood of infants whose mothers smoked. The possible mechanism by which nicotine caused a reduction in the incidence of fetal breathing movements and its possible relevance to the detrimental effects of smoking on the fetus are considered.

PMID:
1268133
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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