The Effects of Smoking While Pregnant: Why Dangerous?

smoking while pregnant

Perhaps, no one would disagree that smoking is harmful to any young woman. But speaking of smoking while pregnant, we should point out that the damage, in this case, is much more significant. Unborn children are suffering from their mothers’ habit of smoking during pregnancy the most.

All the poisonous substances get inside the fetal body through the placenta. And both the period of time a woman has been smoking for and the number of cigarettes smoked every day don’t play a significant part – one puff is all it takes. The fetus is actually smoking with its mother. But cigarettes do it much more harm: the concentration of toxic substances in the baby’s organism is incomparably higher than that in the mother’s blood! By the way, one cigarette contains about 2500 chemicals: nicotine, tars, carbon monoxide, benzopyrene, and even a number of radioactive matters. The toxins are simply killing the developing organism.

The aftermath of smoking during pregnancy

We can imagine what happens the moment a pregnant woman takes a drag of cigarette smoke: the unborn baby begins to cough and suffocate. There are vascular spasms and oxygen deprivation. It leads to women who have a habit of smoking while pregnant often giving birth to premature babies whose weight is under 5.5 pounds. And their other parameters also are inferior (body length, head and chest circumference). That’s why later such babies are often sick and slow in development.

There is an opinion that an expectant mother shouldn’t quit smoking while pregnant because the fetus will also experience withdrawal and it can’t go without any consequences. Doctors recommend minimizing the daily number of cigarettes if that’s the case. But the latest researches have proved that it still doesn’t lead to the reduction of nicotine in the female body. The existing information about the term of pregnancy when smoking does the most harm differs as well. After everything we’ve mentioned above, there’s one thing left to say: smoking while pregnant is very dangerous and harmful for you and your future baby! In spite of the term of pregnancy and other factors, an expectant mother who values her baby’s health more than anything else in the world is obliged to quit smoking while pregnant!

smoking while pregnant - woman with a cigarette

What can you do if you didn’t know you were pregnant and continued smoking? First of all, don’t despair. It’s never too late to quit your habit. The research has also shown that women who gave up smoking during the early pregnancy terms lowered the risk of giving birth to a sick child to a minimum. Even in the last month of pregnancy smoking cessation can essentially help the baby to receive enough oxygen.

So, giving birth to a healthy baby is possible only if it is not poisoned because of its mother’s smoking while pregnant. Your ability to quit the dangerous habit depends solely on your concern about giving birth to a healthy little one. Are you aware of your responsibility for your baby’s life?

Smoking while pregnant: the disappointing statistics

  • Smoking during pregnancy doubles the risk of its unfavorable outcome in spite of the number of cigarettes smoked every day.
  • Approximately 25% of women carry on smoking during pregnancy.
  • The kids whose mothers smoked during pregnancy are 3 times more prone to obesity and diabetes.
  • Smoking while pregnant leads to baby boys having small testicles, the concentration of spermatozoa in their semen on average 20% less than that of kids from non-smoking families.
  • Children whose mothers didn’t quit smoking during pregnancy often start smoking themselves.
  • Women who smoke a pack or more per day are twice as likely to have a miscarriage as non-smoking expectant mothers. If smoking is accompanied by drinking alcohol the risk of a miscarriage increases 4.5 times.
  • The sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) rate is 30% higher if the mother is smoking. The mortality rate of twins is especially high.
  • 14% of premature births in the USA are the result of tobacco smoking.
  • 1/3 of underweight newborn babies are a direct consequence of cigarettes smoked by their mothers.
  • Some of the researches have shown that the daily number of cigarettes is very important. A woman who smokes one pack of cigarettes a day increases the risk of giving birth to a 30% underweight baby.

smoking while pregnant - propaganda of quitting

Passive smoking while pregnant

It’s a hard task for many women to stop smoking during pregnancy. It is indeed a very difficult thing to do, despite its obvious benefits for the most important being in the world!

However, it’s even more difficult to persuade your husband and other family members to quit smoking for the sake of the baby. And it’s a necessary thing to do!

Medical experts are convinced that passive smoking during pregnancy is fairly dangerous for an unborn baby and its mother. According to some statistics, an active smoker inhales about 20% of poisonous substances in one drag. Other 80% are meant for a person standing next to them. Because the active smoker inhales carcinogens and mutagens through a filter, but the passive one is breathing in the toxins without it… Of course, such statements are a bit exaggerated: a large amount of the smoke just dissipates into the air and a passive smoker inhales only a part of it. But the harm of passive smoking during pregnancy is a well-known fact.

The consequences of passive smoking while pregnant

Scientists have confirmed that passive smoking while pregnant increases any possible risk for a future baby: pathological processes and abnormalities, premature birth, stillbirth, miscarriage, developmental problems, weight insufficiency, inclination to respiratory system diseases, heart defects, acute respiratory infections (ARI), diabetes, leukemia, underdeveloped internal organs, etc. For example, passive smoking increases the possibility of congenital birth defects by 13% and the odds of stillbirth – by 23%.

Show these lines to your smoking partner: your pregnancy can become a good reason for him quitting the habit and living a long and healthy life. Especially since you’ll have one more passive smoker in your family after the little one is born. It depends on your family members’ willpower how healthy your child will be. Keep in mind that even if your husband leaves the house to have a cigarette it still will be impossible to completely eliminate the harmful effects of passive smoking.

passive smoking during pregnancy

Passive smoking does the pregnant woman more harm when she is standing close next to the smoking person, especially in an enclosed space. An hour of such passive smoking – and the future mother will breathe in as many poisonous substances as an active smoker receives via one cigarette. So, when you are going to have a nice meal out with a friend, choose a café where smoking is not allowed.

After an experiment that’s proved that passive smoking is harmful to unborn babies, the researchers have come to a conclusion that it’s important to completely quit smoking even before getting pregnant. Active and passive smoking is dangerous for the health of any person! Avoid smoking people’s company.

References
1. http://americanpregnancy.org/smoking-during-pregnancy/

2. https://www.babycenter.com/how-smoking-during-pregnancy-affects-you-and-your-baby

3. https://quitsmokingcommunity.org/effects-smoking/smoking-during-pregnancy/

4. https://www.bellybelly.com.au/pregnancy/smoking-while-pregnant/

5. https://www.sayonarasmoking.com/risks-smoking-pregnant-effects-tobacco-pregnant-women/

6. http://safebirthproject.com/smoking-during-pregnancy-facts/

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