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Is It Bad to Smoke When You are Pregnant?

Is It Bad to Smoke When You are Pregnant?

by: Dr. Monika Chaudhary
Attending Consultant, Gynecology

Smoking in pregnancy causes additional health problems other than heart disease and cancer. It become sthe root cause of a number of ailments and can adversely affect a woman, her pregnancy and the baby in her womb. It is a habit that can affect the smoker and the people that are around the smoker, inhaling the harmful smoke. Hence it is imperative to not just smoke or smoke near a pregnant woman.

Smoking & Pregnancy:

Some of the major aspects associated with pregnancy and smoking are:

  • Smoking makes it harder to get pregnant.
  • Increases risk of pregnancy.
  • Increases risk of pre-mature deliveries or low birth weight making it likely that the baby is sick more often.
  • Problems with placenta which supplies food and oxygen to the baby in the womb. Placenta may separate inside causing Bleeding put the mother and baby to risk.
  • Increases risk of congenital defects like cleft lip and cleft palate in babies and heart defects.
  • Increases risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Quitting smoking can be hard but it is one of the best ways a woman can protect herself and her baby’s health. Smoking cigarettes is probably the No. 1 cause of adverse outcomes for babies. When a pregnant woman smokes, nothing can protect her baby from danger.

Why Is It Dangerous to Smoke during Pregnancy?

Cigarette smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals, like cyanide, lead, and at least 60 cancer-causing compounds. When you smoke during pregnancy, that toxic brew gets into your bloodstream, your baby’s only source of oxygen and nutrients. None of the compounds are good for the baby’s health and nicotine and carbon monoxide are especially very harmful. These two toxins are responsible for almost every smoking-related complication in pregnancy. The most serious complications that occur because of smoking during pregnancy include stillbirth, premature deliveries, and low birth weight. This happens because nicotine and carbon monoxide work together to reduce your baby’s supply of oxygen. Nicotine chokes off the vessels of the body along with the umbilical cord that supplies oxygen to the fetus. It gets worst when the red blood cells that carry oxygen start to pick up molecules of carbon monoxide instead.

How Smoking Affects the Baby?

A shortage of oxygen can have devastating effects on your baby’s growth and development. Smoking doubles the chances of pre-term deliveries, low birth weight babies and even still birth. Every cigarette smoked increases the risks to your pregnancy. A smoker’s body is especially sensitive to the first doses of nicotine each day, and even just one or two cigarettes will significantly tighten blood vessels. Smoking affects weight and size, brain function, heart and lung of the baby. Therefore, one should abstain from smoking when in pregnancy to avoid anomalies in the babies.

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