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Smoking During Pregnancy

Cigarette smoke contains a multitude of chemicals which are hazardous to both mother and her fetus. When the mother smokes during pregnancy, the cigarette smoke reaches the fetus. From the mother's blood stream, these toxins travel through the placenta and enter the unborn baby's circulation. Chemicals reduce the flow of oxygen to the fetus.

A baby born to a smoking mother has a greater chance of being born small, underdeveloped and sickly.

Baby may be born early before her lungs mature and may have difficulty breathing. The chief toxins, carbon monoxide and nicotine are responsible for the increase in maternal heartbeat and blood pressure. The poisons constrict the blood vessels thereby preventing baby from receiving vital nutrients which is important for her growth and development. It is just not good for baby to be around polluted air.

A smoking pregnant lady increases her risk of:

  • Having a child with birth defects
  • Miscarriage
  • Developing placental problems which is her baby's lifeline
  • Preterm birth which in turn puts her baby at risk of having a low birth weight
  • Having a low birth weight baby i.e. baby will develop health issues such as respiratory problems
  • Having a baby with behavioral issues
  • Stillbirth
  • Having a baby die of SIDS or sudden infant death syndrome after birth
  • Premature rupture of membranes, congenital abnormality, hemorrhage in the early or later part of labor or after delivery

Did you know..

  • Being a smoker triples the risk of SIDS
  • Fetal growth can also be affected by second-hand smoke - if the woman does not smoke but her partner does baby is still exposed
  • Smoking during pregnancy increases your chances of miscarrying by about 33%.
  • Tobacco in other forms such as cigars, snuff or pipe tobacco is just as harmful.
  • Nicotine causes the placenta to under-perform thereby restricting oxygen and nutrients from reaching the fetus
  • Smoking during pregnancy interferes with eating right in the mother and also directly impacts baby's growth and development
  • Labor with a smaller baby is no easier or shorter than labor with a bigger sized baby
  • Underweight babies cope less well under the pressure of labor
  • Smoking after the 4th month or in the 2nd trimester is more likely to result in prematurity

It is best to give up smoking altogether before you plan for a baby but even if you get pregnant before giving up the habit, it is never too late. Quitting not only improves your chances for a healthier life but also reduces your baby's exposure to dangerous chemicals (even if done at a later stage of pregnancy). Giving up this addiction can be difficult so get some professional help before using products such as patches and gum because of the possible risk associated with using them during pregnancy.

Here is the punch:

Only you can decide to quit and no one can make give you up smoking during pregnancy. But your baby! You (and your partner) choose for your child since your baby cannot make the choice.

Related Article of Smoking During Pregnancy

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Disclaimer: Information contained on this Web site is intended solely to make available general summarized information to the public. It should not be substituted for medical advice. It is your responsibility to consult with your pediatrician and/or health care provider before acting on any advice on this web site. While OEM endeavors to provide up-to-date and accurate information, it is not liable for any advice whatsoever rendered nor is it liable for the completeness or timeliness of any information on this site.
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