Stressed mothers could be harming their children unintentionally

A psychological study has found that stress in parents can have a surprising impact on babies and young children in the form of second hand smoke.

New mothers who are under a lot of stress, particularly economic stress relating the stability of their homes, are more likely to have no restrictions on smoking indoors around their children.

The study, published in the American Journal of Public Health found statistically significant trends that show that in a home where an infant lives with no home smoking restrictions, the most commonly shared factor was a mother under stress.

The researchers looked at 118,062 women in the United States who had recently given birth, and had participated in the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System between 2004 and 2010.

People often turn to unhealthy stress management methods if they don’t know how else to manage it. Smoking and drinking are significant examples of this. As so many social and economic forces can cause people to become stressed, it is important that people learn healthier ways to cope with it.

The lead author on the study, Dr. Jarron Saint Onge, explained: “Nobody wants to smoke around their child. So it’s these broader social forces that are at play. It’s about recognizing at what point are you compromised to forgo smoking rules in your household?

“Clinicians could begin thinking about stress when they’re going through pre-pregnancy visits to identify stress early on or to identify risk groups early on and to identify home-smoking environments early on as well.”

It is important for everyone to learn how to manage stress and make sure they keep their minds healthy.

Second hand smoke can have impacts on anyone’s health, especially on infants and children who cannot escape it and are still developing.

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