Smoking during pregnancy: Things you must know!
We're all aware of the fact that smoking is injurious to health, the harmful chemical cigarettes contain, and how badly it affects the overall physical health and mental wellbeing. Yes, the adverse effects of smoking are no secret, but still, people find it difficult to quit smoking. But how harmful is smoking for a pregnant woman? How harmful is it for the new life developing inside?
Adverse effects of smoking during pregnancy
If you are pregnant and you smoke, you need to realize the fact that it's harming the baby who hasn't even arrived yet, smoking during the pregnancy is a serious threat and needs to be taken seriously.
Every cigarette contains 4,000 chemicals
Can you imagine how damaging it could be when 4000 chemicals go into your lungs? The nicotine, poisons, and carbon monoxide cross the placenta to the baby.
How does it affect your baby?
It is important to note that nicotine does the job of narrowing your blood vessels, which can lead to decreased blood flow in the placenta. Less blood means less oxygen and this, in turn, adversely affects the actual growth of the baby.
A couple of facts you need to know!
· Babies born to smoking moms tend to weigh less at birth than babies born to a non-smoker mom
· Smoking during pregnancy leads up to 5,000 miscarriages and around 2,200 premature births each year in the UK
Some harmful effects of smoking in pregnancy, on you and your baby
· Higher risk of miscarriage
· Higher risk of premature birth
· Higher risk of having a low birth-weight baby
· Higher risk of stillbirth
· The overall development of the baby
The effects of smoking can reflect on babies, even after birth!
Mothers who smoke during pregnancy need to realize that the effects of smoking are not limited to when a baby is inside, some adverse effects can be seen when a baby is born, and it can impact the overall development and life of your baby.
· Infections in the airways
· Ear infections
· Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
· Behavioral difficulties such as ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)
Quitting is the only option!
Nicotine is highly addictive, and there is no two ways about it. It is possible to have strong cravings for cigarettes and withdrawal symptoms such as restlessness headache, and irritability.
For would-be-moms who struggle to quit smoking, it is advisable to opt for nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). There are licensed NRT products which can be safe to use in pregnancy and can prove to be helpful to quit smoking. Of course, there are some other alternatives available that can help you to quit smoking, but you must speak to your doctor before trying any of the alternatives during pregnancy.
Moms-to-be need to stay motivated and understand the fact that quitting smoking can be difficult but not impossible, and it's more and more important to keep your will power strong when you are pregnant.
It's about you, it's about your family, and more importantly, it's about your baby and these reasons are quite enough to quit smoking!
So, now when you are aware of how harmful smoking can be during pregnancy, choose to quit and start your journey to a healthy life!
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