General chatter - Anyone born to a smoking mother become obese?

Lori Bell
08-16-2010, 03:09 PM
My mother smoked while she was pregnant with all 3 of her children. Back in the 60's it wasn't a big deal. She also did not nurse us, which was kind of a fad back then as well.

So, I was born a nicotine baby, addicted at birth. Since she didn't breast feed, I didn't get my fix as a baby. I was very colicky, and cried for a bottle continually according to my mother. Of course, I was just a little pig in her eyes, but I somehow think I was trying to feed my addiction to nicotine. Once I was old enough to feed on my own, I sought out sugary carbs and continued on my path of addiction. Anyone else an obese product of a smoking mother? Just curious if there is a connection.

Shy Moment
08-16-2010, 03:13 PM
I was born to a mother who smoked. She didn't nurse. I was always thin. I didn't get over weight until I got very sick and the meads just packed it on. Then, of course, I ate and ate. My weight problem is a combination of meads and chocolate chip cookies lol.

08-16-2010, 03:14 PM
Honestly no... in fact, I was the opposite. I was extremely skinny as a child/teen (think 90lbs @ 5'4!) but I did have severe asthma from the cigarettes (including the subsequent exposure in the home). I was in terrible physical shape though, could not even walk the track at school and called in sick for gym days.

I think most of us from smoking moms were also exposed to it in the home and there was probably subsequent inactivity throughout life, from poor lungs, I'm sure that could easily contribute to obesity as well.

08-16-2010, 03:15 PM
I don't think my obesity is in any way contributed to it, but I was also born to a smoking mother and was obese up until a couple of months ago.

08-16-2010, 03:20 PM
I was born to a smoking mother, also breatfed for 6 months. I have smoked off and on for years now. And of course am obese.

Beach Patrol
08-16-2010, 03:21 PM
I was born to a smoking mother, (altho I have NEVER smoked) & so were both of my brothers. I have had a weight problem all my life, but not my brothers - they've always been slim & trim. Ack.

08-16-2010, 03:28 PM
My mother smoked in 1959 when I was born and in 1963 when my sister was born. She's always been the skinny sister, I was normal weight through my childhood but often thought of myself as fat when comparing myself to my skinny little sister.

08-16-2010, 05:54 PM
But if you are a baby born with an addiction, then wouldn't you lose the addiction as you start growing since 1- you don't know what the addiction is to, and 2- you will get over the withdrawls because you won't be getting any nicotine anymore?

08-17-2010, 03:23 PM
My Mom smoked while she carried my older bro and me. Bro birth weight 5 lbs, Me 4lbs 1/2 oz. She stopped smoking and my little brother was 6 lbs 12 oz. Hmmm... both older bro & I had lots of upper respiratory issues. I had pneumonia at 9 mos old. As far as the weight, I can only blame it on me.

08-17-2010, 03:59 PM
My mother smoked before I was born. So did my father. We had the heavy crystal ashtrays on the side tables & the big ashtay on the coffee table & the big table lighter. I remember playing with my mother's leather-covered cigarette case, since I adored all the stuff she had in her purse. I also remember extremely well the upstairs neighbor's amazing ashtray -- it was a huge iridescent shell with a stuffed caiman (a tiny little brown alligator) perched on the side of it. God, how I loved that thing. I also remember marveling over all the cigarette butts left in the big ashtrays after my mother had the ladies over for coffee, because they all had pink & red lip-prints left on them by the ladies' assorted lipstick colors.

But my parents gave up cigarettes eventually after I begged them to, tearfully, like a good little propagandist, after being exposed to anti-smoking advertisements on TV & probably to anti-smoking talks at school. All those cheesy propaganda movies I saw at school worked & I have never smoked.

I was breast-fed, though. My mother's immigrant grandmother wouldn't have allowed her not to, even though bottle-feeding was indeed chic at the time.

I wasn't fat through most of my childhood, though. I got fat after adolescence set in. I believe that my behaviors changed then, and that it was only after I became a more anxious child that I ate to soothe myself. And that, over time, my eating habits worsened in some sort of self-perpetuating cycle of a bad feedback loop, and my brain was somehow rewired. I do not think the wiring went bad in utero, in my case.

08-17-2010, 05:45 PM
My momma smoked and I wasn't breast-fed. I have struggled with my weight the bulk of my life but I think it is more due to being raised on fatty foods than because she smoked but I could be wrong. Either way, I only blame myself for my weight issues, I was the one shoveling in all the food for so many years by my own choice.

08-17-2010, 06:27 PM
My mother was a lifelong smoker so I was exposed before I was born. Don't think that had anything to do with my weight. What did have to do with it was all the cream, butter and mayonnaise my mother put on everything, even oatmeal. That's the addiction I've suffered with all my life.

08-17-2010, 07:53 PM
My mom was a smoker...3 boys 1 girl...all over 50 years old now....

my siblings and I were never overweight as children. As adults from the late 30's to early 40's the boys put on weight from beer and over eating. My sister never has.....she did until I was 43 ...brothers never did.

08-18-2010, 01:37 AM
Hi Lori Bell:

I have the same history. My mother smoked while pregnant and during my entire growing up until the day she died. She drank heavily throughout my life - I don't know if she gave it up while she was pregnant - I sincerely doubt that. She did not nurse her children. Even if it was a fad at the time, she was basically cold and did not want to nurture her children at all.

All of the children in my family (3) were obese, including my brother who died from it at 48. Some extended family had problems with obesity - others had drug and alcohol problems. Clearly, a lot of addiction problems in my family.

In addition to a physiological connection to family, I think that the food addiction for me has a lot to do with looking for comfort and nurturing. In fact, the adults in my family, including extended family, were generally cold, distant and unaffectionate. I too sought out sugar to feel better.

I sincerely hope that with all of this information, we can all learn from this to hopefully reduce these problems for future generations.

08-18-2010, 08:42 AM
Well to put the flip side to this debate, my mother never smoked and never breast-fed (very unfashionable in the 60s) and I have been overweight/obese since a child. I also never smoked, but did breast-feed my DD and she's been overweight from about the age of 7 (she's 11 now). She was a very hungry baby, demanding feeds every 2 hours or so and as soon as she was on solids she packed the weight on. So no, in our family addiction has nothing whatsoever to do with our obesity.


08-20-2010, 04:39 PM
my mother was a smoker and did not breast feed. she had 3 kids with my dad, all 3 of us have had serious weight problems (my and dad didn't have a significant weight problem). her son by another husband didn't have a weight problem though, at any point in his life (he's in his 60s now)

08-22-2010, 10:48 AM
Hmm... that is a really interesting thought. I have never ever put that together. My mother smoked with all of us when she was pregnant and forever after. We where also bottle fed. My mother was a stick and all of us had weight issues, my brother being the least.

Mom was the type to go..." You dont have a boyfriend cause you need to lose weight, here have a piece of cake to make you feel better"

Latchkey Princess
08-22-2010, 07:04 PM
My mom didn't smoke with any of us kids (except she told me that she smoked weed once while she was preggo with me, before she knew she was pregnant). And she nursed all three of us for at least 8-9 months each. And I'm the only one with serious weight problems (tho my brother and sister have each been a little chubby at some point in their lives). I'm pretty sure my weight and food issues have more to do with childhood habits, happenings and traumas than they do with my mom's prenatal behaviors tho...

On the flip side of the experience, with my oldest kiddo I smoked until I found out I was pg with her at 7 weeks, then I quit. I nurse her. She is way up the charts on weight and height, so much so the doctor thought we were overfeeding her (we're not, she eats like a bird most of the time and generally healthy foods). I didn't smoke at all with my second and nurse her as well. She is high on the charts for height (so I have tall kids) but not for weight, she is actually so low on the charts the doctor suggested feeding her more often. I told the doctor she already eats 7-8 times a day, large amounts each time! So maybe there is something to the smoking during pregnancy thing... Interesting.

08-28-2010, 12:05 AM
I've never heard about smoking moms and obesity in their children. I would think there would be more of a link to the lack of breastfeeding and obesity. I've read articles about how babies don't learn how to eat, or fullness cues properly when they are bottle fed.

My mom didn't smoke at all and only breastfed me for 6 months and I am the only of my sisters that has a weight problem.

09-07-2010, 10:52 PM
My mother smoked before, while, and after the birth of my brother and I. She never breastfed.

But my parents gave up cigarettes eventually after I begged them to, tearfully, like a good little propagandist, after being exposed to anti-smoking advertisements on TV & probably to anti-smoking talks at school. All those cheesy propaganda movies I saw at school worked & I have never smoked.

Yes, I tried to convince her to quit, but she still continues to smoke, and gets irritated whenever I bring it up. :( I have never smoked cigarettes, and will never try it. The smell is disgusting to me, and I can feel my sinuses start to mess up as soon as I smell it. I hate it when she smokes around me. She gets annoyed, because I pinch my nose, or cough.

09-08-2010, 06:55 PM
Yes to all. Both of my obese parents smoked, mom did not breast feed, and both my brother and I have fought our weight our entire lives. We've also fought chronic lung conditions and get bronchitis and pneumonia at the drop of a hat :(

She's now 350+, smoking away... I swear I don't know how she's still alive.

09-08-2010, 09:32 PM
I've read articles about how babies don't learn how to eat, or fullness cues properly when they are bottle fed.

My mom didn't smoke at all and only breastfed me for 6 months and I am the only of my sisters that has a weight problem.

This is my understanding, too. It makes sense that when a baby nurses, they stop when they are full/done, with no knowledge by the mom how much the baby actually consumed. In contrast, if the doctor tells a mom that the baby should be eating around 2 ounces at a time and she is bottle feeding, the mom tends to try to get that whole 2 ounces in the kid, thereby teaching them YOUNG that they need to go ahead and push past those satiety cues and finish the bottle. I find that so interesting.

I was not breastfed, BTW. But my mom didn't smoke, either.

09-08-2010, 10:05 PM
that's very interesting shannonmb, and makes a lot of sense to me...

My mum started smoking when she was pregnant with me (yeah thanks mum!), and I was an overweight/obese adolescent. Though up until my parents split, i was just overweight (I noticed on the scales it said for a woman my height my weight was the midrange, but that was for a woman, not a really tall 10 year old). I didn't really start stacking on the weight till I lived with only my mum. I notice now, that a lot of my eating habits i learnt off her, so my weight is not necessarily to do with her smoking while carrying me.

My theory is, that women who smoke when pregnant (even though for the last couple of decades its been know that's a really silly thing to do), have a lot less self-control, and are more likely to pass that learned behaviour down onto their children, in a 'i want it and i feel like i need it so i will have it, even though I don't *actually* need it' type of way.

but hey, that's just my opinion :)

09-10-2010, 11:49 AM
My mom smoked from the time she was a teenager until about 20 years ago, and she breast-fed me (in fact I practically went straight from the rack to the sippy cup, she says I used the bottle very little). I've had weight issues since I was about 10. Also if it means anything, my mom says her doctor strictly forbade her to gain more than 15 lb over her pre-pregnancy weight and bawled her out when she went over that limit (I don't know if that was the precise number but it's WAY lower than today's doctors recommend, and it just makes her laugh when she hears what today's recommendations are).

Also, she'd leave a cig unattended in the ashtray when she went to answer the phone and I'd sneak a puff, and all it did was make me ask what the heck do people get out of firing up a wad of dried leaves and sucking in the hot gases? As a result I've never taken up smoking, thank goodness