Weight gain, feeding and eating in the first year of life of babies of smoking and non-smoking mothers

Lilac Lev-Ari*, Rachel Bachner-Melman, Ada H. Zohar, Richard Ebstein, David Mankuta

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Babies of mothers who smoke during pregnancy tend to be born underweight but are at risk for pediatric obesity. Maternal feeding practices, maternal disordered eating, and child temperament were assessed as potential mediators of early weight gain in babies of smoking and non-smoking mothers. The BMIs of babies of 88 smoking and 107 non-smoking mothers were recorded at birth and reported one year later. Mothers self-reported on disordered eating and child feeding practices, and on their infants' temperament. Babies of smoking mothers had lower BMI at birth but not at age one. For babies of non-smoking but not for those of smoking mothers, BMI at birth predicted BMI at age one. Smoking mothers' disordered eating and pressure for children to eat predicted their babies' BMI at age one. In the non-smoking group only, there were significant correlations between babies' temperamental difficulties and babies' BMI at age one. In contrast to non-smoking mothers, smoking mothers tend to pressure their babies to eat, and not to feed them in response to their distress. This interim picture may provide insight into the transition of the children of smoking mothers from underweight newborns to children classified as overweight.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number104889
JournalEarly Human Development
StatePublished - Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier B.V.


  • Disordered eating
  • Obesity
  • Overweight
  • Smoking during pregnancy
  • Weight gain in infancy


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