Smoking While Pregnant May Hinder Child’s Motor Control and Coordination

Woman smoking while pregnant

While some studies suggest drinking in moderation may be OK for a pregnant woman, additional studies prove smoking while pregnant may negatively affect their child’s coordination and motor control development.

The study, conducted at Orebro University in Sweden, suggested boys are affected more negatively than girls.

Matz Larsson, researcher in medicine, explains “Nicotine can influence development of the brain and interact with testosterone, making boys more susceptible”. A direct link exists between nicotine and testosterone.

The study included more than 13,000 children. By the age of eleven, children were given simple tests of physical motor control and coordination. The tasks included copying a simple drawing and make markings on paper with both their right and left hands.

Children with mothers who smoked eight cigarettes or less during pregnancy performed exceptionally well compared to the children of smoking mothers, especially when using their non-dominant hand.

Our research concludes, smoking during pregnancy greatly increases the risk of negatively affecting a child’s ability to develop coordination and motor control.

This study is interesting since it examines physical ability rather than mental which many studies use to determine the ability to learn and retain information.