Pregnant Women Smoking: Effects on Child and Mother

Smoking and pregnancy are the words that are not to go together. A pregnant woman-smoker exposes herself as well as the unborn baby to huge health risks. Cigarette smoke has above 2000 components, including harmful carbon monoxide, cyanide and nicotine. The substances are absorbed into the placenta affecting the baby.

The most dangerous effect of smoking while pregnant is that produced on the growth of fetus. A new born of smokers generally weighs 170 – 200 grams less than the average baby of non-smokers. This is due to the reduced nutrients and oxygen transported by the blood vessels, which can result in low weight and poor health for the whole life.

Researchers have proved that smoking increases immensely the risks of different genetic abnormalities like the malformations of eyes, ears, palate, spinal cord, bowel; cleft lip and respiratory problems (asthma). It’s necessary to remember that the effects go their way beyond birth. Increased risks of respiratory disorders generally develop in one’s teens.

About 20 % of pregnant women do smoke, over 50 % of them smoke above 10 cigarettes every day. Only 4 % of pregnant women quit smoking in the 1st trimester. If you give up smoking in the 1st trimester, the chances to have a normal sized child at birth go to almost 100 %.

Quitting is surely preferred. But if you cannot quit smoking at once, you should at least reduce the amount you nip. The exposure to dangerous elements will remain, but at least it will be lesser.

Smoking increases the rate of heart, causes the suppression of nervous system and high blood pressure, which surely affects the fetus and increases the risks of complications for the mum (blood clotting and chest infections).

Smoking while pregnant increases the risks of miscarriages, ectopic pregnancy, placenta malformations, pre-mature births, stillbirths, bleeding, severe morning sickness, thrush, polyhydramnios, infections of the urinary tract, including candida.

It was proven that smoking while pregnant aggravates the risk of sudden infant death syndrome. The risk to develop this syndrome rises also in case that the father smokes. It is recommended that both parents should give up smoking for the pregnancy period.

After birth it’s important that the baby is in an environment free of smoke. Do not allow family members, friends, and strangers smoke in your house, vehicle and other areas where the baby is.

There is a variety of ways smoking in pregnancy affects the fetus and the mother. To give up smoking is a must! The risk for your health and a nearly born baby is too high!

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