Smoking is one of the most serious health hazards. But smoking while pregnant can be particularly dangerous to both the mother and the unborn child. Quitting smoking while pregnant is certainly not easy. Ideally, you should quit it before you plan your pregnancy. But if your pregnancy was unplanned, you may need to quit it as soon as possible.
So, how to quit smoking while pregnant? What are the hazards of smoking while pregnant? Read on to find out!
The Risk from Harmful Chemicals
Cigarettes contain toxic chemicals such as carbon monoxide and nicotine, among several others. Both these chemicals can reduce the amount of oxygen in your blood. When you smoke while pregnant, these chemicals reach your baby through your bloodstream. Nicotine can even constrict the blood vessels and reduce blood supply to your baby. The effects of smoking while pregnant can be really serious.These chemicals can deprive your child of oxygen and affect his or her brain development. Smoke from tobacco inhalation can adversely affect your child’s weight at birth, cause birth defects such as cleft palate and lip, and affect the development of the brain and other organs.
Recommended Read: Smoking Cessation and Nicotine Withdrawal
Smoking while pregnant during the first trimester or in the later stages – both are harmful for the baby. Fetal development is important at every stage of the pregnancy. So, it is not that you can quit at first and later start smoking again.Is smoking weed while pregnant safe? Well, no. Use of weed or marijuana during pregnancy also harms the baby. It can cause low weight at birth, premature birth, and birth defects. In the same vein, e-cigarettes, as an alternative, are also harmful for women who smoke while pregnant. Secondhand smoke inhalation in excess can also cause the same complications as first hand smoke during pregnancy.
Preterm birth poses lots of complications for the health of the child. It can cause hearing impairment, mental problems, learning disabilities, and other complications. Smoking during pregnancy can also cause stillbirth.
- Smoking can increase your chances of having a miscarriage.
- Smoking can also increase the risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) – a common reason for infant death without any clear cause.
- Smoking during pregnancy can also affect the placenta. It can break away from the uterus or experience bleeding. It is through the placenta that your baby receives nutrition for his or her
- optimal growth. Any problem with the placenta can affect your baby’s health.
- Smoking during pregnancy can affect the development of your baby’s lungs.
- Smoking can cause heart defects in your unborn child.
Effects of Smoking on Pregnant Women
Smoking can not only affect your baby’s health but it can also harm the mother. In fact, women who smoke regularly can experience difficulty in getting pregnant. Many women who smoke excessively (both firsthand and secondhand) have fertility problems. Even when they manage to get pregnant, they are at increased risk of miscarriages.
If you smoke while pregnant, you can experience fatigue and have problems with your breathing. You will experience stress, sleep problems, and generally feel irritated or uncomfortable. All these factors will equally affect yours as well as your baby’s health.
Recommended Read: Effects of Caffeine Consumption During Pregnancy
Quitting Smoking while Pregnant
It is always good to quit as soon as your pregnancy is confirmed. If you quit within the first trimester, you can significantly protect your baby from the harmful effects of smoking. Try to avoid situations that trigger your craving for nicotine. Talk to your doctor about your options to quit smoking while pregnant.
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