Smoking during pregnancy is one of the most harmful habits to your growing baby. Generally, smoking can cause many health problems, but the harmful effects that it can cause to your baby are greater. Effects of smoking during pregnancy include miscarriages, premature delivery, stillbirth, underweight baby, and much more.
When you smoke during pregnancy, the smoke that contains over 4,000 chemicals enters your blood stream which is the source of nutrition for your baby. All these chemicals are not good for your baby, but nicotine and carbon monoxide are particularly hazardous as they work together to cut off the oxygen supply to the fetus causing serious complications.
Smoking a pack a day during pregnancy is enough to reduce your baby’s weight by half a pound. While two packs a day reduce it by a pound or more. Underweight babies often aren’t completely developed and they are more prone to suffer from long-term health issues. In the following part, we will mention some of the effects of smoking during pregnancy.
– Placenta Abruption: A condition in which the placenta pushes off the wall of the uterus either before or during labor, resulting in premature delivery through caesarean section.
– Placenta Previa: Smoking during pregnancy thins the placenta, so it can cover the opening of the cervix. This can cause bleeding during pregnancy and it makes vaginal birth highly risky.
– Preterm Labor: Smoking induces pregnancy to end sooner thus placing the mother into premature labor. It is a defensive action the body takes to protect itself from the harmful side effects of smoking. A baby who has born before being completely developed is prone to suffer from health problems like mental retardation, learning disabilities, and other health issues.
– Stillbirth: It increases the risk of the baby dying during the pregnancy.
– Respiratory Infections: A baby who has a mother that was smoking during pregnancy is more prone to have respiratory illnesses like asthma and other conditions.
With all the illness and serious health problems that smoking during pregnancy can cause, it is very important for the pregnant women to stop smoking. Remember that the longer that a mother smokes, the higher her risk of complications. For example, quitting in the first trimester of the pregnancy increases your chances for having a healthy baby with normal weight. But the fetus starts growing and gaining weight after 14 to 16 weeks, so it is better to quit as soon as possible making sure that you will give a birth to a healthy baby.