Use of Tobacco During Pregnancy – The question of whether smoking during pregnancy is safe for pregnant women who smoke or have smoked in the past often arises in the minds of smokers. As well as explaining whether or not smoking in the past might harm your current pregnancy, this section also explains the risks associated with tobacco use – especially smoking – while pregnant. There is no need to feel guilty if you smoked cigarettes in the past, whether you stopped a month before getting pregnant or ten years before.
Pregnancy or the unborn child will not be negatively affected by your previous smoking habits. While that may be the case, however, it is well documented and researched that smoking while pregnant causes a great deal of harm to your unborn baby. You are more likely to experience complications if you continue to smoke after the third month of pregnancy. A baby’s health is at risk if you do this. A pregnant smoker’s womb is filled with smoke, preventing oxygen from reaching the baby.
The heartbeat of a baby will increase, he or she will cough and sputter, and their growth and development will be hindered. As a result of smoking, both the mother and the baby are at risk of complications during pregnancy. There are a number of factors that can cause premature delivery, including vaginal bleeding, abnormal placental implantation, ectopic pregnancy, premature placental detachment, premature rupture of membranes, and premature birth. Several studies have shown that cigarette smoking by mothers is associated with over 14% of preterm deliveries.
Premature births usually result in small babies, either because of low birth weight or shorter length. Too small babies are susceptible to developing illnesses as infants and to perinatal death, which means they can die before birth, during birth, or shortly after birth. Your child can also suffer from apnea if you smoke, which means they stop breathing and are at a higher risk for SIDS, which is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Cleft lip and cleft palate are also possible outcomes of smoking during pregnancy, in addition to smaller head circumferences.
The risk of complications will increase as your baby grows, provided he/she survives infancy. In addition to physical and intellectual deficiencies, these can include respiratory diseases, ear infections, tuberculosis, food allergies, asthma, short stature, ADHD, and aggressive behavior. Adults smoking around their children as they grow up contributes to these issues even more. When pregnant and after birth, do not allow individuals to smoke around you or your baby or child.
Several studies have shown that second-hand smoke is just as detrimental as first-hand smoke. When someone is smoking, you should avoid being around them. Having someone else smoke can have just as bad an effect as smoking yourself. You should also ask your partner to take their cigarettes outside so that you do not become surrounded by smoke – your baby is also surrounded by smoke if you are. Finally, if someone you know smoked and had healthy babies, that doesn’t mean you will or should do the same, nor does it indicate that you should.
Your child’s growth is negatively affected by smoking. If another person was successful, it doesn’t mean you should take a risk that could negatively impact your child. Similarly, you wouldn’t go jumping off a bridge just because someone else did it and survived, just because that person happened to see a life raft, so don’t smoke just because someone else did.
Choose to protect your baby based on your own judgment. Smoking during pregnancy has resulted in more than 115,000 miscarriages and 5,600 infant deaths. Therefore, it is recommended that you quit smoking if you have just discovered you are pregnant. Talk to your practitioner if you need help quitting. You can get tips and tricks from him/her to make it easier for you.
You may want to increase your intake of fruits and fruit juices, milk, and greens, and reduce your meat, fish, and cheese consumption. Getting more rest and exercising can provide a similar ‘kick’ as smoking, so eliminate caffeine, which can add to the jitters.