Women who find themselves pregnant soon find themselves re-evaluating different lifestyle habits and weighing their impact on their unborn child.
Currently it is up to individuals to decide whether or not to avoid smoking during pregnancy. Although the body of a pregnant woman is also delicate, continuing to smoke while pregnant is very dangerous for the developing child, as we’ll outline below.
Let’s look at the various impacts smoking can have both on pregnant women and on the fetus so as to consider how to have healthy children.
How smoking affects pregnant women
As is well known, tobacco contains many harmful substances. Nicotine, tar and carbon monoxide found in cigarette smoke all have a negative impact on the human body and greatly increase the risk of getting sick. Pregnant women who smoke should not not only think about the risks smoking has on their developing child but also the dangers it has on their own life.
The pregnant woman’s body sends nutrients to the placenta through the blood. However, since blood vessels contract due to smoking, not enough blood can be carried to the placenta, which raises the risk of placental abnormality. If abnormality occurs in the placenta, in the worst case, the lives of both mother and child may be at risk. There is also data that smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage and premature birth.
Effect of smoking on unborn baby
When smoking during pregnancy, harmful substances in tobacco cause the blood flow to deteriorate, so nutrients and oxygen to the fetus are not conveyed normally. This has a large impact on the unborn baby.
Pregnant women’s smoking adversely affects the developing fetus’ body and may result in much lower birth weight, as well as raising the likelihood that the child will suffer from certain illnesses. Also, if sufficient nutrients and oxygen are not supplied while the baby is developing, not only will their body be greatly affected but also the brain as well, so the risk of being born with symptoms that can affect the child’s life will increase. In addition, it is said that the risk of sudden infant death (SIDS) increases along with the risks of developing asthma and childhood obesity.
A problem not only for pregnant women
Having a cooperative partner to help support your goal of smoking cessation is very important toward safely giving birth to children. Tackling the act of quitting smoking may be difficult indeed to face alone. Feeling encouragement and the presence of someone who helps care for you can be a big factor in helping you stop smoking. Do not be afraid of asking people around you to support as necessary so that you do not face things alone. It may also be good to consult a professional consultation at a hospital or clinic with an outpatient cessation care program.
Also, keep in mind that even if you are pregnant and do not yourself smoke, if someone around you smokes cigarettes, the secondhand smoke will still get inside your body and you will experience many of the same negative effects as though you smoked directly. In order to give birth to a healthy child, it is important to gain the understanding and cooperation of people around you in creating a smoke-free environment.
Smoking tobacco has various risks even for adults. Indeed it has imposes heavy risks to the unborn baby still in the mother’s belly. Smoking during pregnancy is a heavy and dangerous behavior as it may be expressed by some as tantamount to child abuse. If at all possible, it is often considered best to consider quitting smoking before starting to prepare to have a family. Quitting in the first four months of pregnancy may lower your risk of having a low birth weight baby to that of a nonsmoking woman. Stopping smoking can also reduce the risk of premature birth, infant death and other kinds of complications.
An unborn child’s mother is the only one who has the direct power to protect her child either by quitting smoking, by encouraging her partner to quit, or by avoiding encounters with smoke – both during and after pregnancy.