Smoking and Pregnancy are usually incompatible. Cigarettes contain dangerous chemicals that can be dangerous for you and your unborn child. In the first place, smoking delays your pregnancy so if you are trying to conceive then you got to kick the habit. Second-hand smoke can be dangerous for the fetus so you also need to stay away from smokers.
The only way out for pregnant mommies to keep their babies safe in the womb is to Quit Smoking.
What are the Dangers of Smoking in Pregnancy
- Stillbirth and miscarriage
- Ectopic Pregnancy
- Placental abruption
- Premature birth
- Low birth weight
- Birth defects
Questions and Answers on Pregnancy and Smoking
There is a group of women who have unplanned pregnancies and it gets mismanaged as they need to decide on their priorities of having a healthy baby in one hand and cleaning all bad habits that they have been carrying. It has been accepted that to quit smoking is a herculean task for smokers.
Does Smoking lead to unwanted Ectopic Pregnancy?
Ectopic Pregnancy is a difficult condition where the egg implants outside the uterus. It is a life-threatening situation as the egg has to be removed to avoid infection. There is a very high chance of such a pregnancy if you are a smoker. Cigarette contains chemicals that increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy. Nicotine is responsible for fallopian tube contractions.
Does Smoking cause placental issues?
The placenta is an organ that is formed during pregnancy and acts as a bridge that provides oxygen and nutrients to the fetus. Placental abruption is a medical emergency resulting in severe bleeding. This separation of the placenta and uterus lining can take place partially or completely.
Your child will not get oxygen and nutrients in the womb. The disruption of the placenta before the childbirth is an immediate emergency that is life-threatening for both mother and child. Smoking increases the chances of placental abruption and is one of the reasons for such a condition.
Smoking eases out a person’s mental stress and relaxes the body. Is it not advisable to smoke while pregnant as pregnancy should always be relaxing and stress-free?
Smoking increases your blood pressure and the gas, carbon monoxide that is released while smoking disrupts the passage of oxygen that reaches the baby. To put it in a better way, smoking relaxes your body and calms you down but it is a momentary feeling.
It will help you just for some time and you get back to your stress easily. It harms you more than the temporary comfort. Understand the tips that will help you cope with pregnancy insomnia.
Women have a smooth pregnancy despite the habit of smoking. Does that continue with the second pregnancy as well?
You may have had a lucky experience of smoking and giving birth to a healthy baby in your first pregnancy. But this habit will always be harmful to your baby and both of you are always at risk.
Just because you had an escape in the first one doesn’t mean that it won’t affect your second pregnancy. Chances are always higher of miscarriage and stillbirth if you continue with the habit.
Does passive smoking or indirectly inhaling smoke harm your baby?
Firstly, when you have somebody else in the house who is smoking, then it gets very difficult for you to quit. Secondly, Smoking in any form, even passive smoking is dangerous for your baby. It can cause SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) and can also reduce your baby’s weight.
Children whose parents are smokers, have to deal with pneumonia and bronchitis at a very young age. You have greater chances of having a baby with birth defects, and other complications like asthma, allergy, frequent lung and ear infection even after their birth. Before becoming pregnant, you need to start preparing emotionally and quit smoking.
What is the feeling after you quit smoking during pregnancy?
You may have symptoms of withdrawal as cigarette contains nicotine. You feel irritated, hungry, cough, headache, and difficulty concentrating but the good part of that these symptoms are temporary. It will last only for some time but again you might crave it at times.
You should mentally be strong to accept that it’s for the well being of your baby and don’t relapse at any cost. The end result is always best for you and your baby.
How does smoking lead to preterm birth?
Children born weeks before the actual date are more likely to be underweight and at risk of various problems like hearing impairment, mental disability, cerebral palsy, development delay, and congenital heart defects.
Preterm delivery takes place before completing the 40 weeks gestation period increases the risk of infant mortality and morbidity. Smoking elevates this problem of preterm birth and complications associated with it.
Does Smoking lead to miscarriage and stillbirth?
Smoking leads to placenta previa, placental disruption, and slowing down of fetal growth. In the first trimester, there is a risk of miscarriage and after 20 weeks of gestation, there is a chance of stillbirth. Smoking plays a vital role to cause such a risk apart from various other factors.
Is Postpartum relapse common? How harmful is it for breastfeeding?
Adjusting to a new baby at home is stressful. Women often relapse post-birth. You should not stop breastfeeding even if you are smoking as the breast milk contains various nutrients which is healthy for the baby and cannot be replaced by any formula milk.
Don’t smoke near your baby and seek counseling if you have the urge to relapse. It’s best to limit smoking if it gets irresistible as it poses many health risks to the baby. Your habit of smoking should never surpass breastfeeding as it is the most essential factor to raise a healthy baby. Consumptions of antibiotics might nor affect the pregnancy if done under the guidance of your gynecologist, but smoking will.
Essential Tips to Quit Smoking
- Seek help from your friends and family and to cooperate with you while you are in the process of quitting.
- Stay away from passive smoking.
- Hide your matches, lighters, and ashtrays.
- Designate your home as a no smoke area.
- Limit your caffeine and alcohol intake as it urges you to smoke.
- Keep yourself busy with yoga, exercise, books, and music.
- The use of nicotine patches and gums should be your last resort.
The only way to keep yourself and your baby safe throughout pregnancy and later are by quitting the habit of smoking. There is no one who can lure you to quit, it’s your own decision and you should implicate it strictly.
Smoking less is not a solution for smokers as it can increase anytime so the ultimate solution is to get rid of it. Pregnancy is the best morale boost to help you get away from such an addiction.
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Mother of Two children. I’m a former teacher with a background in child development and a passion for Good parenting. I understand child development and know how to develop activities to help children learn and grow. Spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, and volunteering in my community.