A speech therapist, Maryam Ibrahim-Maifada, says exposing pregnant women to smoky environment can lead to birth defects such as clubfoot.Ibrahim-Maifada said in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Kaduna.She explained that clubfoot refers to a deformed foot which is twisted so that the sole cannot be placed flat on the ground.
She said that smoke reduces the amniotic fluid that surrounds a baby in the womb, thereby exposing it to clubfoot condition.According to the therapist, family history, congenital conditions and environment are also risk factors.“If either of the parents or their other children have had clubfoot, the baby is more likely to have it as well.“In some cases, clubfoot can be associated with other abnormalities of the skeleton that are present at birth, such as spina bifida, a birth defect that occurs when the spine and spinal cord don’t develop or close properly.“
Smoking during pregnancy can significantly increase the baby’s risk of clubfoot,” Ibrahim-Maifada added.According to her, boys are about twice as likely to develop clubfoot than girls.“Examples of syndromes where a clubfoot can occur include arthrogryposis, constriction band syndrome, tibia hemimelia and diastrophic dwarfism.“Clubfoot can be mild or severe; about half of children with clubfoot have it in both feet.“If your child has clubfoot, it will make it harder to walk normally, so doctors generally recommend treating it soon after birth.“Doctors are usually able to treat clubfoot successfully without surgery, though sometimes children need follow-up surgery later on,” she added.
The therapist, however, said that if not treated, clubfoot may cause arthritis, affect the person’s self-esteem.She advised pregnant women to avoid smoky environment and consumption of non prescribed drugs. (NAN)