Effects of Smoking While Pregnant

Smoking While Pregnant

Smoking while pregnant is harmful and this truth is well known to everybody. But everyone does not fully understand about the important concerns of smoking.

Every mother discloses herself and her unborn and growing baby of the uterine to vast health risks when she starts smoking. We may now try to outline and understand the main concerns about smoking while pregnant.

Smoking and pregnancy are the two different words that when forms or unite it makes very serious effects on the mother and the growing baby of the uterine.

It is again a well known fact that everybody knows that cigarette is containing thousands of harmful toxins like nicotine, carbon monoxide and cyanide (More or less 4000).

When one smokes while early pregnancy symptoms start, every inhale reaches baby through placenta of the mother who smokes and thus the toxic effect reaches both the mother and the baby. Most of these toxins are reaching the baby without any stop and the ill effects accumulating on the baby is not brought to the notice of the mother.

While smoking, every time the toxins affect the circulatory system of the mother and slowly it harms the placenta which is supplying blood to the baby and eventually it reaches baby’s circulation and begin damaging and narrowing of the blood vessels of the baby. The damage goes on in the baby’s blood vessels that carry nutrient and oxygen as she continues the smoking. Generally the smoking is the main cause for narrowing of the blood vessels and it causes heart attacks and strokes. This ill effect of smoking affects the baby by starving for food and oxygen. Continuous starvation of the baby may result in stressed and smaller size baby and even cause premature babies. The main concerning effect of smoking during pregnancy is “restricted fetal growth”. The new born baby weighs only up to 200gms as against the average weight of the baby of the non-smoking mothers. This is attributed to the restricted nutrient and oxygen supply of the baby by narrowing of important blood vessels by smoking toxins. The quantity of the toxins of smoking is having the direct effect and impact on the baby’s weight and general health.

image by Tin Green
image by Tin Green

Most of the perinatal infant deaths (just before the right period of delivery) are linked with heavy smoking. Heavy smoking is able to cause placental detachment from the uterine which causes the death of the baby. It is estimated that about 12% of the prenatal infant death occurs only by having heavy smoking habit from the beginning and as soon as early pregnancy symptoms start. This is also most dangerous to the life of the mother and saving the mother’s life becomes more risky while prenatal infant death occur.

The brain begins to develop in the growing baby of the mother’s uterine occurs in the third trimester. As the baby’s body receives the nicotine without break, the brain of the baby also becomes addictive to nicotine which causes the disorder of attention deficit and learning disability. Though this link is not proved fully, it is wise to avoid nicotine addict to the brain of the baby in the uterine itself and the let the baby in the safer side. Though the mother and her baby do not have any serious problems immediately after the birth of the baby, the baby will definitely have the furious and disturbed attitude. The new born baby may have irritation and this may be continued for few weeks. This may be due to the withdrawal of nicotine after birth. This is the challenge for a new mother with her new baby and she has to face and manage the baby from this problem. Stopping the habit of smoking is the only answer for every mother to avoid this problem of irritation in newly born baby. Though quitting of smoking is very difficult for every mother who is pregnant, it is worth if quitted for the sake of the mother and new born baby.

Researches so far conducted reveal the truth about the malformation of organs in the growing baby of the uterine. They express their view that some of the babies are having higher risk of having cleft of the lips, palate, abnormalities of growth in bowel, spinal cord, eyes and ear. But they also emphasize the risk of having respiratory problems that the baby have after birth and thus it is imperative for every mother and understand that the effects of smoking goes in its way even after the birth of the baby. It is also true that the health benefits are vast by quitting smoking during pregnancy.

Putting down the cigarette smoking is the only choice to have relieved from the risk of having serious ill effects on mother and baby. About 20% of the pregnant women are smoking and 50% of them are heavy smokers. And it is true about 5% of the pregnant smokers completely quit from this habit almost in the first trimester of pregnancy. It is also true those pregnant smokers who quit smoking increases the chances of having their new born baby at normal weight as in the case of non-smoking mothers. But this does not mean that quitting in first trimester of pregnancy is enough to have normal baby and it is very definite that any degree of toxins by smoking will increase the risk of the baby to have growth abnormalities. It is important that every pregnant mother should have in their mind that “more smoking makes more effects and less smoking makes less effects on baby”. It is quite sure that any level of smoking is not safe and complete quit is the only recommended advice to avoid the risk of having any ill effect in both mother and baby.

Smoking during pregnancy not only affects the baby but also causes the complications on mother by having hypertension, tachycardia and depression. It is quite obvious it causes lung infection and blood clotting disorder. It also increases the risk of having ectopic pregnancy, stillbirths, miscarriages and placental malformations. In several occasions scientists reveal that smoking women undergo menopause and increased menopause bleeding at younger age than nonsmokers.

One Response

  1. indah July 13, 2010

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