Pregnancy is a special time in a woman’s life. There is no doubt that it is also one of the toughest times in a woman’s life. From nausea to back pains, there is a lot that a woman’s body is going through to bring a human being into this world.
During pregnancy, women must take care of their health, not only for their well-being but also for the well-being of their unborn baby. Whatever you consume affects your baby too. Hence, women must take care of their diet. Women who smoke before pregnancy may find it hard to quit smoking during these nine months. However, they must do so.
There is so much literature out there regarding the negative impact of smoking during pregnancy. A cigarette contains about 4000 chemicals, including nicotine, tobacco, carbon monoxide, and others. Each of these chemicals is harmful to the development of the baby, before and after birth.
Women who smoke during this time need a reality check!
Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of complications. It also increases the risk of stillbirth and premature birth. Mothers who smoke tend to have babies with low birth weight, which is harmful to the baby. In addition to this, parents who smoke put their children at a higher risk of asthma. Quitting smoking leads to a healthy pregnancy (given that you do not have any medical issues).
Active smoking is bad as-is, but passive smoking is equally harmful. Even if you do not smoke, but your partner does, it is also bad for the baby. Women who smoke may find it hard to conceive. Likewise, men who smoke are also put their reproductive health at risk.
Some of the common problems that a woman may experience during pregnancy because of smoking are as follows:
Preterm labor: The baby is born before the due date and has low birth weight.
Placenta previa: The placenta is present in the lower part of the womb, partially or completely, covering the cervix. It can lead to the baby receiving less nutrition.
Ectopic pregnancy: The egg implants in the fallopian tube or the abdomen. It doesn’t implant in the womb. Hence, it is life-threatening for the mother.
Miscarriage: The mother loses the fetus within the first three months of the pregnancy.
Stillbirth: The baby is born dead after 20 weeks.
For more information regarding the dangers of smoking during pregnancy, read this article by Healthline.
Ingesting nicotine during pregnancy
Nicotine, under any circumstances, should not be ingested during pregnancy. Whether you inhale nicotine through a cigarette or nicotine patches, it is harmful to the baby. According to an article by the Sleep Review, nicotine increases the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), also known as “cot death.” SIDS causes unexpected death in babies under the age of 12 months. It occurs when the baby is sleeping and calm. The baby’s breathing and heart rate are affected, which causes leads to a lack of oxygen going to the brain.
Being exposed to nicotine during pregnancy can affect the baby’s central nervous system. It impairs the baby’s cardiorespiratory responses, which eventually leads to SIDS. Hence, ingesting nicotine through any means should be avoided.
You can find more information regarding the health effects of smoking on pregnancy on the NHS official website.
Quitting smoking during pregnancy can be difficult for a lot of women. However, with support and encouragement, you can quit this unhealthy habit. One of the things you need to realize is that smoking puts your health and the health of your baby at risk. Complications can arise that can cause a lifetime of pain. So it is better to quit smoking now than regret it later.