Smoking and Pregnancy – 7 Serious Risks
Another vital step you must take if you intend to get pregnant or are already pregnant is to stop smoking. Being pregnant could be one of THE best reasons for quitting you’ll ever have and once you stop you might never ever smoke again.
Cigarettes and nicotine pose a very serious threat to your unborn baby because smoking restricts the oxygen in your blood getting through to your baby’s body. This stimulates your babies’ heart to beat faster in an attempt to spread the limited supply of oxygenated blood to the areas of its body.
Apart from this major drawback, cigarettes also contain many chemicals which get absorbed in to your bloodstream and through to your baby.
Another very serious problem is that babies from families who smoke are more likely to suffer respiratory problems such as bronchitis and pneumonia.
If you’re pregnant and still smoking, you can get benefits if you stop... it’s not too late. The damage you are doing to you and your baby will quickly diminish.
Pregnancy and smoking are not a good combination and can lead to some if not all of the following serious problems...
1. You may suffer from more bouts of morning sickness and the chances are higher that you will experience more complications throughout pregnancy
2. It is more common to feel unwell and have other pregnancy related issues throughout the pregnancy
3. You’ll have a much higher chance of miscarriage and stillbirth
4. You could have a far more challenging time throughout the birth
5. The chances of your baby being born premature are higher and this brings with it the additional risks of breathing and feeding problems
6. It’s possible that your baby will be underweight (on average babies from mothers who smoke are likely to be approximately 8oz lighter than those from mothers who don’t smoke.
7. Your baby has a higher chance of infection after the birth
Needless to say children born to mothers who smoke are far more likely to suffer from asthma and other breathing problems in later life.
The moral of this story is don’t smoke or stop smoking if you plan on getting pregnant. If you are already pregnant, stop as soon as you can.
One last point to consider is that of passive smoking... this means breathing in the smoke of other people. This may not just be from a person you live with, it could be where you work or where you like to socialise.
It’s important to understand that any second hand smoke can be harmful to your growing baby. Studies have shown that mothers who breathe in smoke this way are more likely to have low birth weight babies and more likely to suffer the devastating effects of cot death once the baby is born.