Smoking During Pregnancy
Smoking is a bad habit like drugs or alcohol. It can cause several health problems including cancer, gum infection, stroke and heart disease. It is not only harmful to you but also for your baby during pregnancy. Cigarettes contain more than 4,000 types of chemicals from which at least 60, cause cancer. None of these components are good for your baby.
Smoking during pregnancy can lead to:
- Early membrane rupture
- Placenta previa
- Placental abruption
- Ectopic pregnancy
What are the effects of smoking on my baby?
- Usually babies in womb receive their nutrients from their mother through the placenta. Smoking may damage the placenta functions and passes the toxins to the baby, which reduces the intake of oxygen and nutrients thus affecting the baby growth.
- Most research shows that smoking during pregnancy would affect the baby weight at birth. Most babies are born with an average of 200g less than infants born from a mother who do not smoke. Babies are most likely to be born premature thus having a greater risk of developing lifelong disabilities.
- Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS): Infants born from a smoking mother are 3 times at risk of SIDS than kids who were born from a mother who do not smoke.
- Babies are ill frequently and taken to hospitals.
- Babies are more susceptible of having ear infections, asthma and bronchitis during their childhood.
- Children of smokers are more likely to have learning disorders, behavior issues and low IQ.
- Infants are more likely to become heavy smokers when they grow up.
It is never too late to stop smoking. You should take your decision as soon as you know that you are pregnant. Talk to your doctor about the different ways to quit smoking. Get help from your partner and friends who do not smoke. Avoid smokers’ places. After all, your baby totally depends on you!