Friday, September 16, 2011
Essay on Counseling and Nicotine Replacement Therapies for Pregnant Mothers
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that 13 per cent of pregnant women smoked in 2005. This is a serious smoking problem considering that exposure to nicotine and carbon dioxide has adverse health effects on the unborn child.
Various strategies have been proposed in an effort to help pregnant smokers quit smoking. One of these strategies is counseling. However, the study published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology revealed that counseling had little effect in encouraging pregnant mothers to quit smoking. This means that pregnant mothers still continued their smoking effects despite the intervention of counseling.
While counseling is not being abandoned, other approaches are now being studied. For example, Dr. Nancy A. Rigotti from the Tobacco Research and Treatment Center at Massachusetts General Hospital says that use of nicotine replacement therapies has lesser risks compared to exposing the unborn child to nicotine and carbon dioxide.
However, pregnant mothers should take these medications with great caution. Considering that these medications are relatively new its harmful effects may not be known for now but a few years down the road its effects may be revealed. In fact, in 2009 the FDA required Pfizer to indicate on the labels of these medications that it has potential side effects for depression, suicidal thoughts, and even increased risk for heart problems.
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