Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Perhaps an answer to the great question concerning Poland: Poles smoke and drink while pregnant

From: The News
The Chief Sanitary Inspectorate has released alarming statistics that 14 percent of Polish women consume alcohol while pregnant and 38 percent smoke cigarettes.

The statistics are the result of a survey conducted by the Health Ministry and the Inspectorate in June 2009 in 382 clinics throughout Poland – about 3,300 women were polled.

“These statistics explain why there are so many babies lying in hospital incubators crying because they are addicted to alcohol or nicotine,” says Professor Anna Dobrzanska, one of the doctors who worked on the survey.

Despite such health risks, 11 percent of Polish women claim to smoke regularly while pregnant, 38 percent admit to having smoked cigarettes on occasion and 14 percent say that they have consumed alcohol while pregnant. One in one hundred women surveyed admitted to having taken narcotics while pregnant as well.

Health Minister Ewa Kopacz says that mothers must be provided with clear information about how their actions while pregnant affect their unborn child – both how it affects the baby’s weight, immune system, height and general health after birth.

“I am embarrassed to admit that I too am a female smoker – I was when I was pregnant and I smoked when I breast-fed,” admits Kopacz.