There are many health problems that put your baby at great risk if you are a smoker. You may not realize it but there are many problems that go right down the line including adverse effects during birth and even after. Many women will not heed our advice to quit immediately upon discovering they are pregnant which is unfortunate. However quitting is the best option for you and your baby. Get as much support as you can to help you stop smoking. Smoking during pregnancy poses some very real risks and we will talk about those risks here.
The hundreds of chemicals added to cigarettes attack all the system of the mother and unborn child. The baby’s immune system is compromised, and the effect of that is the general tendency to be sick more often with colds and other infections. Smoking during pregnancy has also been connected to several respiratory issues. The child may also have growth problems as a result of smoking as well. One complication of smoking while pregnant is low birth weight which can cause a multitude of other complications for your baby. It has been estimated that low birth newborns make-up about twenty to thirty percent of all low birth weight babies. Another common condition of smoking during pregnancy is the likelihood of preterm labor. One study shows a 14% likelihood of preterm delivery caused by smoking. 10 percent of all infant mortality cases including SIDS can be attributed to smoking during pregnancy. The American Lung Association has studied this statistic to its fullest.
Pregnancy and smoking do not go together. The main culprit is the cigarette smoking, but that can be further broken down into more specific causes.
Blood vessels constrict when nicotine is present in the blood. When the blood vessels are constricted, there is less oxygen available in the blood due to reduced blood flow. Of course the heart rate increases to compensate. By smoking during pregnancy you decrease blood oxygen to our baby’s brain and cardiovascular system. Women who smoke during pregnancy expose their unborn child to several negative effects. More research needs to be done as there is still much to be learned. But the negative effects of smoking while pregnant are rather clear. So if you’re pregnant, it’s vital to find a way to quit smoking. Not being ready to quit or thinking it’s too hard are the reasons most people don’t quit. Taking time to do more research is highly recommended. Talk to your doctor as soon as possible for help with a nicotine addiction, especially if you’re pregnant.