Any Smoking, Drinking in Pregnancy Threatens Baby's Brain: Study

WEDNESDAY, May 13, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Any amount of drinking or smoking at any time during pregnancy can harm a baby's brain development, a new study warns.

It included more than 1,700 newborns in the U.S. and South Africa and found that drinking or smoking in the early stages of pregnancy and then quitting, and drinking and smoking at low, moderate or high levels all affected brain development in newborns, CNN reported.

The study was published in the journal JAMA Network Open.

"Already we can see there was an alteration in the development of brain processes that can be quantified during sleep when babies are just a few days of age," said senior author William Fifer, professor of medical psychology, Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York City, CNN reported.

"Babies of those moms who even had low levels of alcohol or tobacco exposure still had some alterations in the brain activity."

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