If you don’t consider your health as important enough to quit smoking, maybe your baby’s health will. Smoking during pregnancy not only affects mothers but their babies too. Whether it’s before birth, during, or after- there’s one thing for sure. And that’s related to the deleterious consequences aimed at the baby.
Can smoking during pregnancy affect your baby
In case you’re wondering why people start smoking or find it hard to quit, the answer is simple.
Cigarettes contain a highly addictive substance.This is known as nicotine. Smoking during pregnancy delivers nicotine to the baby. But that ‘s not all. Cigarettes also contain carbon monoxide, alongside a number of other poisons.
Just the thought of so many toxins reaching the baby is scary.Concurrently, the placenta may detach from the uterus.
But how does this all occur? When a mother smokes a cigarette, she takes in all the chemicals. The toxins inhaled will travel through the mother’s bloodstream. It then directly enters the baby.
The hazards related to smoking during pregnancy
Believe it or not, the hazards related to smoking during pregnancy are very real. They include the following:-
- Decreased levels of oxygen, to both mother and growing baby
- Increased baby heart rate
- Increased chances for miscarriage
- Higher chances for stillbirth or birth of a dead baby
- Increased risk of premature baby delivery
- Higher risk for low birthweight baby
- Increased risk for the baby developing lung abnormalities
- Higher rates for birth defects
- Higher risk for Sudden Infant Syndrome
The greater the number of cigarettes smoked, the more the baby suffers.
It’s as simple as that.There is no kind of safe level during pregnancy.
Is second-hand smoking during pregnancy harmful
We’ve discussed first hand or active smoking above. This includes deleterious consequences. Now it’s time to look at second hand or passive smoking during pregnancy.
Passive smoking is a direct combo of smoke arising from lit cigarettes and that exhaled by the smoker. Unbelievably, the smoke coming out from cigarettes is lethal. It carries more harmful chemicals than a cigarette inhaled directly.
The smoke that burns at the ends contains higher levels of tar, nicotine, damaging carbon monoxide, and more.
People that get regularly exposed to this smoke develop a number of respiratory diseases. This includes asthma, ear infections, lung infections, allergies, and sudden infant death syndrome.
How to quit smoking during pregnancy
After hearing about the drastic effects of smoking during pregnancy, it’s time to look at prevention.
The only and best option for mothers to consider is quitting. But it may not be as easy as it sounds. The nicotine in tobacco smoke is highly addictive. This makes the quitting process difficult but not impossible.
Pregnant mothers can benefit from smoking cessation methods. Other wonderful options include the following:-
- Hiding matches, ashtrays and lighters
- Terming your living area a smoke free zone
- Avoiding the company of smokers
- Consuming less caffeinated beverages as they stimulate smoking cravings
- Indulging in productive activities
- Eating sugar-free mints or chewing gum to rid the urge of smoking
- Taking part in an exercise to help relieve stress
- Joining a smoking cessation group
- Avoiding hugely populated areas that tempt you to smoke
The role of nicotine replacement on smoking during pregnancy
Nicotine replacement therapy during pregnancy is always a good idea.
It’s one of the most common methods used by pregnant mothers.
The form of therapy involves nicotine gum as well as patches. These allow nicotine to be released directly into the smoker’s blood.
While this therapy reduces withdrawal symptoms and lowers nicotine cravings, their safety isn’t clear. This is especially true for pregnant mothers. Research states that physicians only recommend this when other options like counseling have no effect.
There are many risks associated with smoking during pregnancy. Pregnant mothers need to understand the severity of the situation. After all, every mother dreams of healthy child delivery.