The idea of giving birth for most women can be quite terrifying. Bringing another life into this world is beautiful. It’s the process, however, that can deter away from the beauty. We’ve seen giving birth scenes on television, we’ve heard stories from our mothers and aunties and a great deal of pain is usually involved. Some women believe the larger the baby the greater the pain and this is not necessarily true in all cases. Teenage moms have started a new trend that they think will help ease the pain by keeping their babies small: smoking cigarettes while they’re pregnant.A 10-year-study from Australian National University has brought this disturbing trend to light.
Getting pregnant at a young age, however, is not the problem here.
Not only are they fully aware of what they’re doing, they’re doing it on purpose. But why?
There’s actually a psychological disorder for it called tokophobia — a great paralyzing fear of giving birth.
A lot of women who’ve had babies talk about the pain of pushing another human being out of their bodies.
The teens believe that smoking cigarettes would lead to smaller babies and ultimately a less traumatic birth.
These PSAs, however, were intended to stop mothers from smoking. Unfortunately, it’s caused the opposite effect.
In some situations, the young ladies began smoking immediately after finding out they were pregnant.
“I wouldn’t call it a trend,” said Dennis, “But it was definitely common enough for me to pick it up as a pattern. In every place I went, I’d find at least a few girls talking about it.”
However, a very clear medical consensus about smoking while pregnant has existed for decades and it is simple: do not do it.
Smoking cigarettes while smoking could cause more labor complications and respiratory problems for the child.
It can also lead to premature or still births, miscarriages, and low birth weight.
It’s unfortunate that it’s such a high number, and it doesn’t look like it’s going down.
That means that the actual percentage of expecting mothers who smoke is even greater than 14.5 percent!
“Most were scared of splitting or tearing. Quite a big proportion of them had older sisters who’d given birth, or friends, and women tend to talk in horror story terms about their birth experiences.”
“They were worried about not being able to present in the way they’d used to with men if they’d torn during birth.”
Like many bad ideas, the decision was influenced by family and friends.
“Often the girls would be born of smoking mothers, or there would be a long history of other women smoking while pregnant in the family, and they’d say, ‘Nothing happened to me, I’m fine.'”
This is unsurprising, given how our society fetishizes women who are slender and miraculously become slender after pregnancy.
“By and large, they were petite girls anyway, so any weight gain was a terrifying prospect.”
They admitted that they would feel more comfortable smoking if they were expecting a female baby.
This comes out of a gendered view that girls should be delicate and small.
These ladies were commonly attacked with stares and verbal insults about what it was they were doing.
“They were quite skilled at dealing with the position they were in, and there was a definite ‘I’m doing this, so shut up’ kind of attitude.”
This just shows you’ll never know how people will really respond to public service announcements. They can be effective, but not always in the way you intended.