4D ultrasound shows what smoking does to an unborn baby

NZ Herald 24 March 2015
A new study appears to shed more light on the harmful effects of smoking while pregnant using 4D ultrasound scans to detect the tiny movements made by foetus in the womb.

By monitoring the growing babies, scientists believe that they can flag potential problems by examining the minute movements foetuses make in the womb.

It is hoped that the research can be used to encourage more mothers to give up the habit while pregnant.

Dr Nadja Reissland studied the moving 4D ultrasound scans of 20 expectant mothers, four of whom were smokers, recording thousands of tiny movements as they foetuses developed at 24, 28, 32 and 36 weeks.

Her study, conducted at the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough, found that the unborn babies of the four smoking mothers touched their faces more frequently.

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