Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Christmas Wish...

Its that time of the year again where people embark on long journeys, ditch their bosses for a while just so they can celebrate Christmas with family and friends. For many also, it's a season when there'll be plenty to eat & drink.

Growing up, as children, we would make Christmas wishes and we always got excited when they are fulfilled. However, for some people, Christmas brought no respite from the everyday challenges they faced as it was just another day amongst many and as a result, some have inoculated ourselves from the pain so they do not have to go through the hassles of wishing for something they know will never come true.

Whatever class we belong, those who still have Christmas hopes or those who associate the season with unpleasant thoughts, our one wish this Christmas will be of value to everyone and it is that we see a smoke-free Nigeria emerge from the current status. As a nation with a varied number of health challenges including losing children at unripe ages, we see the emergence of a smoke-free Nigeria as a key contributor to ensuring our current high child mortality rate is reduced significantly.

If you are a mom/mom-to-be that smokes or you know anyone that does, kindly consider or relay this information below and we believe that after this, you'll be able to help make our Christmas wish come true - 

How smoking affects your baby:

Weight and size

On average, a pack-a-day habit during pregnancy will shave about a half-pound from a baby's birth weight. Smoking two packs a day throughout your pregnancy could make your baby a full pound or more lighter. While some women may welcome the prospect of delivering a smaller baby, stunting a baby's growth in the womb can have negative consequences that last a lifetime.

Body and lungs
Undersize babies tend to have underdeveloped bodies. Their lungs may not be ready to work on their own, which means they may spend their first days or weeks attached to a respirator. After they're breathing on their own (or even if they did from the start), these babies may have continuing breathing problems — because of delayed lung development or other adverse effects of nicotine. Children whose mothers smoked during pregnancy are especially vulnerable to asthma, and have double or even triple the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Babies whose mother smoked in the first trimester of pregnancy are more likely to have a heart defect at birth.

Researchers analyzed data on 2,525 babies who had heart defects at birth and 3,435 healthy babies born in Baltimore and Washington, D.C., between 1981 and 1989.

Brain function
Smoking during pregnancy can have lifelong effects on your baby's brain. Children of pregnant smokers are especially likely to have learning disorders, behavioral problems, and relatively low IQs. 

In summary, we're saying is stop smoking and if you don't smoke, help someone to stop and let's make it possible for our children to live in a smoke-free Nigeria. 

Merry Christmas!!!

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