Quitting smoking when pregnant is one of the most important things that an expectant mother can do for her child. The effects of smoking or vaping on the unborn child are very serious and no-one will feel worse about this than the mother herself. Expectant mothers who smoke should be given special understanding and care and not made to feel guilty for being entrapped and enslaved by one of the most addictive drugs on the planet.
The side effects of smoking while pregnant are distressing to review. Aside from the high risk of smoking causing miscarriage and stillbirth, it lowers the amount of oxygen available to the mother and the growing baby. The baby’s heart rate increases unhealthily, as does the risk of premature birth and the risk of the baby being born with a low birth rate. The baby’s risk of developing respiratory problems, birth defects, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) are also increased many times over.
Cigarettes contain over 4,000 chemicals as well as releasing harmful gases such as carbon monoxide and vaping contains many chemicals all of which can be passed to the unborn baby. These can lead to the following risks and issues:
- Preterm birth (Baby is born too early with health issues such as breathing difficulties, digestion issues and bleeding in their brains)
- Ectopic pregnancy (The embryo attaches outside the uterus and usually leads to a miscarriage. This is up to 4 times2 more likely for a mother who smokes during pregnancy)
20 to 25 weeks
- Placental abruption (The precentor separates early from the uterus causing bleeding in the mother, dangerously low blood pressure and lower oxygen and food to the baby)
- Placenta previa3 (The baby’s placenta covers the mother cervix leading to severe bleeding during pregnancy and delivery)
- Pre-eclampsia (The mother has high blood pressure and swollen feet, legs and hands which can lead to premature birth)
After 24 weeks
- Stillbirth (Baby dies before she or he is born)
- Underweight baby (Higher risk which can lead to issues keeping warm and increased risk of infection)
- Cot death (At least 25%4 higher risk of sudden, unexpected and unexplained death of an apparently healthy baby)
- Asthma (Parents who smoke increased likelihood that children will develop asthma and lung disease causing breathing difficulties)
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