PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – A state Health Department official says that nearly 20 percent of South Dakota’s expectant mothers smoked during their pregnancies in 2010.
Colleen Winter, state director of health and medical services, used the numbers to help to urge pregnant women to quit smoking to protect their babies from a wide range of health problems. She says women who smoke can celebrate Mother’s Day by quitting.
Smoking while pregnant increases the child’s risk for problems such as abnormal blood pressure, cleft palates, leukemia, colic, respiratory disorders and eye problems. She says the mortality rate for infants of mothers who smoke is much higher than the mortality rate among infants of non-smoking mothers.
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