Smoking, in general, is considered to be dangerous to health. But just sometimes we let go off this thought to indulge in guilt-free smoking. Have you ever imagined what moments like these can lead to especially if you are a pregnant mother? Well, smoking during pregnancy is never advised. The hazards are manifold. The article will brief you about all you need to know.
Women are warned not to smoke before, during or after pregnancy in order to ensure good health for her and her child. Though there are many ill effects of smoking during pregnancy a study showed in 2020 showed that up to 10% women out of all the women involved in the study smoked when they were pregnant.
If you are addicted, the best you could do is to reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke per day to a considerable low. Pregnancy is a stage where you need to take your health seriously.
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Effects of Smoking on Pregnancy: Side Effects
Many studies have shown that smoking during pregnancy can be dangerous to both the mother and her fetus. These are some of the many risks involved which affect the life of the mother and the baby in an adverse way. Take a look at it to be aware of a few hazards.
1. Premature Birth:
The first risk of smoking while pregnant is the premature birth of the baby. Smoking during pregnancy causes premature rupturing of membranes which would prompt labor before the baby is fully developed. This may also result in the mental or physical illness of the baby later in life or at an early stage.
2. Placental Abruption:
Smoking during pregnancy could lead to the placenta separating from the attachment site in which case the fetus is under stress and could cause the fetus to die. If the placenta is detached from the fetus before birth then it will be a very critical situation for the baby as well as the mother. The mother could experience a lot of blood loss too.
Smoking could make the placenta cover the cervix which highly reduces the chances of a natural birth leading to longer recovery time and stress for the mother. There is nothing better than a healthy baby delivered normally from a healthy and sound mother.
4. Damage to The Umbilical Cord:
One of the most significant effects of smoking during pregnancy is a limited oxygen and blood supply to the fetus through the umbilical cord. This can prove to be very painful and results in blood loss during pregnancy.
5. Low Birthweight:
Pregnant Smokers will have to face a baby with lesser weight than a normal healthy baby. This will affect the health of the baby in his first few months or maybe later in life. A study in 2020 showed 11.6% of babies with reduced weight were born to smoke mothers. Babies born with low weight are subject to health problems more often than not.
6. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome:
Yet another depressing effect of smoking during pregnancy. Infants exposed to nicotine present in the cigarettes during or after pregnancy can experience SIDS. The death of the child is unexplainable in those cases.
7. Future Obesity:
A recent study has indicated that teenagers who had mothers who smoked during pregnancy had 33% more body fat than other teenagers making them obese.
Dangers of smoking during pregnancy not only stop when the baby is inside the mother. It also brings in effects on a long term basis for your boy or girl. Here are some risks that continue after birth.
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a. Future Smoking Habits:
Another study tells us that children start smoking at an early age if they were born to mothers smoking in pregnancy. This heredity situation can be avoided if the mother quits smoking much before planning the baby.
b. Smoking After Birth:
Dangers are not in only smoking during pregnancy but smoking after pregnancy too. Nicotine exposure through breastfeeding can cause a lot of harm to infants. Mothers who smoke during breastfeeding are also open to many lung-related complications. Diseases like lung cancers or breast cancer can enter women and cause harm to them as well as their child.
c. Passive Smoking:
The biggest danger is passive smoking. You don’t smoke here, but, the people around you smoke and you inhale the air, thus passive smoking. Smoking around infants can harm their tender respiratory system leading to lung infections and asthma. In some cases, it can cause sudden death syndrome in infants. Infants are incapable of inhaling such heavy nicotine filled smoke, which results in harmful diseases or respiratory diseases in them at an early stage in their lives.
Tips and Ways to Quit Smoking While Pregnant:
Here are some tips to quit smoking while pregnant that will come in as helpful if you decide to quit smoking.
1. The first thing you need to analyze is what time is hardest for you. You need to know when is it that you feel restless and what are the triggers that induce you to smoke. Sometimes you may be prompted when others around you smoke. The best thing to do in such cases is to actually try doing something else that demands your attention. You could try solving a puzzle, or cleaning etc. anything that requires your full attention. That’s the first diversion.
2. Change your routine a little. Try to avoid those things that make you crave a cigarette.
3. The first few weeks of quitting will put stress on you. Those days are the hardest! But, you need to work out ways to move past it. Try to talk to people and get involve d in some discussion.
4. Talk to your doctor and seek his/her advice. That will be very beneficial.
While all of these steps may look simple, the reality will be very different. We also want to warn you that none of these will help you if you don’t exercise a certain level of control. However, the best you could do is hold on and push yourselves to try harder and inhibit your tempt. Talking and diverting your attention will help to a great extent. Like we said, second-hand smoke while pregnant can also be dangerous. Take care.