Effects of Smoking While Pregnant
It is a proven fact that smoking is bad for you. Even the diehard chain smokers will agree, smoking kills. It is harmful to all age groups and genders. But it is exceedingly awful for pregnant women because it can harm their unborn baby.
According to Tommy’s an estimate, smoking is the primary cause of up to 5,000 annual miscarriages and 2,000 premature births in the UK.
“When you smoke in pregnancy, your baby smokes with you.”, says the healthcare expert Jana Abelovska at Click Pharmacy. “A single cigarette contains close to 4,000 chemical compounds that go into a smoker’s lungs. The nicotine, poisonous fumes and carbon monoxide from smoking makes it’s way from your lungs to the placenta, passing into your baby.”
8 Effects of Smoking While Pregnant
Please review the various effects of smoking that harm the mother and the baby. I sincerely hope my efforts in this article can save lives and promote a healthy lifestyle.
1. It’s Hard for Smokers to get Pregnant
Research shows that it is hard for smoking women to get pregnant. They have 72% fertility compared to non-smoking women. This estimate does not account for the countless other disorders associated with smoking and how they affect pregnancy.
For couples looking to conceive, quitting smoking should be their top priority. Smoking can affect the health of an unborn baby as early as the first trimester.
Passive smoking, also known as second-hand smoking, is just as dangerous to the fetus. That’s why it is instrumental for both expecting parents to quit.
2. Increased Risk of Miscarriage & Stillbirth
Smoking in pregnancy tends to increase the risk of miscarriage or stillbirth by a large margin. The dangerous chemicals that the body ingests from cigarettes are to blame for this tragedy. Some additional complications from smoking may even lead to certain disorders of the placenta or slow foetal development.
3. Development of an Ectopic Pregnancy
An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the embryo grows in the wrong place, outside the womb. Unfortunately, such a pregnancy always ends in a loss.
Smoking allows the body to ingest nicotine, which can cause contractions in the fallopian tubes and prevent the embryo from passing through to the womb. An ectopic pregnancy is a likely outcome of such disturbance.
In such a situation, there exists a substantial risk to the mother. Therefore, the embryo must be removed to preserve her life.
4. Increased Probability of Placental Abruption
Placenta is an organ that develops in women during pregnancy. It provides necessary nourishment to the foetus and removes waste from the womb. Smoking is one of the major instigators in several placental complications.
One complication is placental abruption, which causes a separation between the placenta and the foetus before childbirth. It can cause severe bleeding and even threaten the life of both the mother and the baby. Unfortunately, no treatment or surgery can help reattach it. With timely medical attention, the chances of survival increase.
5. Increased Probability of Placenta Previa
In a normal pregnancy, the placenta grows in the uterus towards the top of the mother’s womb, leaving the cervix open for delivery. Placenta Previa is an illness in which the placenta stays in the bottom of the uterus, blocking the path for eventual delivery. It is not safe for both the mother and the child. The chances of placenta previa occurring increases from smoking.
6. Induction of Premature birth
Women who smoke during pregnancy may face difficulty in carrying the baby to the full gestation term. Smoking may cause their amniotic sack to rupture before the appropriate time.
Premature birth can cause many health risks to the baby, such as difficulties in learning, mental and behavioural disorders, visual and hearing impairments, and infantile death.
7. Abnormally Low Birth Weight
Low birth weight is the leading cause of infantile deaths in the UK. Smoking can induce not only a premature birth but also an abnormally low weight for the baby.
The recent medical advancements have reduced the mortality rate due to low birth weight. But it can cause a number of disorders, such as cerebral palsy, visual and hearing impairments, delay in biological development, infantile death.
Evidence suggests that the women who quit smoking before getting pregnant or during pregnancy are more likely to continue their pregnancy to full term and deliver a normal weighing baby.
8. The Appearance of Birth Defects
Certain developmental issues in babies, like cleft lip and palate, are linked to smoking during pregnancy. Some may face rather severe birth disabilities, like congenital heart defects. While congenital disabilities can occur in any pregnancy, the risk is significantly higher with smoker moms.
Forewarned is Forearmed
10.6% of women smoked during their pregnancies in England in 2019. This is a completely avoidable travesty.
A little knowledge goes a long way to ensure proper planning. Carrying a baby is a joy for its parents, but it is a great responsibility as well. Both mommies and daddies should throw the cigarettes away before trying to get pregnant.
Babies are fragile. Protect them with everything you’ve got.