Smoking While Pregnant Increases In Michigan, Local Doctors React

Alarming results from a recent study show a statewide increase in women smoking during pregnancy.

The stats come from the Michigan League for Public Policy’s Right Start: 2016 Annual Report On Maternal and Child Health.

It shows an 18% increase between 2008 and 2014 and a 20% increase in premature births across the state. It also shows the percent of mothers in each county.

“Would you put lead or cyanide in your baby’s food, of course not, but that’s really what’s happening when moms smoke.”

And more moms are picking up the habit, something that’s devastating to local doctors and med students, but they say they’re really not surprised.

David Klee, M.D., associate program director at Munson Family Practice Residency says, “Unfortunately it’s something that’s fairly common so we do have a fair amount of people that continue to smoke during their pregnancy and it’s something we talk about with our patients, counsel and develop a plan stopping the smoking during the pregnancy.”           

A medical student at the practice Haleigh Edgar, says, “Northern Michigan in general has a higher smoking rate than Michigan overall, especially in Charlevoix county, about 1 in 3 women will smoke during pregnancy which is higher than the statewide average.”

The goal is to get those numbers down and pediatricians hope this study and more education is key.

Pediatrician Dave Olson, M.D. at the Grand Traverse Children’s Clinic says, “For heart development, lung development really any development of the tissues of the body this is a really bad thing. If you look at babies afterward they have a much greater incidence, probably double or triple of Sudden Death Syndrome.”

Dr. Klee says, “Sometimes these things start to fall off the radar and a study like this that shows there’s an increased risk of smoking during pregnancy will hopefully bring this into the lime light.”