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  • Writer's pictureShruti GOCHHWAL

What Happens When You Smoke During Pregnancy?

Here are some smoking while pregnant statistics for every pregnant woman out there: approximately 5,000 miscarriages and 2,200 premature births were caused by smoking during pregnancy in the UK alone. Research shows that the habit of smoking becomes especially harmful when it is done during pregnancy. Apart from your health, it gravely put the well-being of your unborn child also at risk by exposing them to thousands of hazardous chemicals.

Not only this, heavy or light smoking during pregnancy has the effect of making your baby vulnerable to a variety of infections. These include infections of the airway, respiratory infections, ear infections, among many. Hence, if you want a healthy pregnancy and a baby, you shouldn’t think twice about quitting this bad habit.

How Does Smoking Affect Pregnancy in the First Trimester?

smoking during pregnancy

Preganant women breaking a cigarette, Credits: Pixabay

When you smoke during the first trimester of your pregnancy, your baby becomes prone to very low body weight. It also makes the child considerably shorter and significantly the size of his/her brain.

The smoke from tobacco contains thousands of harmful chemicals. It crosses the pregnant mother’s placenta and directly goes into the fetal circulation. It also contains carbon monoxide, which can damage the regular supply of oxygen to the baby. The nicotine can disrupt the average growth and development of the baby’s organs.

Smoking while pregnant first trimester is linked to growth restriction in three areas of the baby: body length, birth weight, and the circumference of the head. Moreover, the baby can also have unequal body proportions. Even during the early stages of pregnancy, smoking can have a disastrous impact on the baby’s health. Women who smoke before their pregnancy get addicted to it and are not able to quit it. Hence, they keep on smoking even after the first trimester.

How Does Inhaling Smoke And Secondhand Smoke Affect Babies

secondhand smoke

Secondhand smoke, Credits: Pixabay

The smoke from tobacco harms the health of the unborn child in many ways. They are prone to many complications and health conditions before and after their birth. The tissues of the child get severely damaged as a result of inhaling secondhand smoke. It is especially true of the tissues in the brain and lungs.

The threat of secondhand smoke looms large over your unborn baby even after you have quit smoking. It is from those members of your family and relatives that smoke frequently. Hence, you need to protect yourself from secondhand at any cost.

Some health ailments linked with secondhand smoke are:

  1. Miscarraige

  2. Low birth weight

  3. Learning disabilities

  4. Behavorial deficiencies

  5. Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)

How to Quit Smoking While Pregnant?

smoking while pregnant statistics

Diagram depicting no smoking, Credits: Pixabay

You need to save your child from harmful chemicals like nicotine and carbon monoxide. So you need to quit this habit as early as possible. Some of the ways by which you can do it are:

  1. Try to reduce the frequency of smoking as much as you can. You can also enroll in a program that help people to quit this addiction.

  2. Throw away all the unfinished as well as whole cigarette packets along with ashtrays, and lighters. You will automatically not be prompted to light up a cigarette.

  3. If someone in your family smokes, educate them about the harmful effects of smoking on your as well as your baby’s health.

  4. If you smoke to deal with stress, you need to find other ways to lower your stress levels. Change up your routine to make it a more healthier one.

Smoking in itself, whether pregnant or not is not a good habit. If it can harm the health of an adult in the long term, imagine how brutally it can impact your young ones. Save yourself and your child from its dangerous effects.

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