How Smoking Increases SIDS Risk
Researchers at McMaster University have found that exposure to nicotine while the baby is still in the womb, whether because the mother was smoking or through secondhand smoke, compromises the baby’s ability to respond to oxygen deprivation which increases the chances of a baby falling victim to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
The birth supposedly triggers a baby’s oxygen-sensing mechanism, which remains active for several months after the birth, that allows a baby to react accordingly in occasions of apnea or asphyxia. Basically, the adrenal gland releases catecholamines which contains adrenaline, the building block of our ‘fight and flight’ response.
Exposure to even little amounts of nicotine compromises this mechanism resulting in babies born with a compromised ability to detect oxygen deprivation, unable therefore to respond accordingly by moving its head.
Medical News Today