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Effects of Smoking While Pregnant: Dangers to Your Baby

Smoking during pregnancy not only puts the woman at risk but the unborn baby as well. In the U.S, 13% of pregnant women smoke during pregnancy. According to the U.S Public Health, there would be an estimated 10% infant death reduction if all pregnant women stopped smoking.
Cigarette smoke features more than 2,500 chemicals, including tar, nicotine, and carbon monoxide, which are dangerous to the fetus. For a healthy pregnancy, the woman should quit smoking as soon as they learn they are pregnant.
Even if you only found out about the pregnancy a few months into the pregnancy, it’s never too late to quit smoking. Quitting in the first trimester can rapidly reduce the risk of low birth weight in babies.
If you have been a heavy smoker before you even decided to get pregnant, tell your doctor if you need assistance with quitting. If you are having a hard time cutting down, consider using a nicotine patch to help you. Even though there are still risks to using a nicotine patch during pregnancy, it beats the dangers and effects of smoking while pregnant.
Second-hand smoke can also harm your baby, so you need to be aware of people smoking around you. Being exposed to second-and smoke can still put your unborn baby at risk of fetal development problems.

Risks of Smoking During Pregnancy to Your Baby

Smoking while pregnant nearly doubles the woman’s risk of giving birth to a low weight baby because it slows fetal growth. Babies born to women who smoke are of low birth weight compared to babies born to non-smokers.
Smoking also increases the risk of preterm labor by about 30%, in which case a pregnant woman can deliver before 37 weeks of gestation. Smoking also increases the likelihood of congenital disabilities like cleft lip or cleft palate.
Low-weight babies who weigh less than 51/2 pounds at birth are at an increased risk of severe health issues during their newborn phase, chronic disabilities like mental retardation, cerebral palsy, and learning problems, and sometimes even death.
Pregnant women who smoke also put their babies at risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Exposing your unborn baby to cigarette smoke before birth increases the risk of lasting health problems like learning disabilities, asthma, and behavioral issues.

Effects after the Baby is Born

After you bring your baby home after delivery, we also recommend that you stay smoke-free. Both the mother and the father should avoid smoking in the house, and you should insist that all your visitors refrain from doing so.
Exposing your baby to cigarette smoke even after birth continues to put him or her at an increased risk of SIDS.
Babies exposed to cigarette smoke after delivery also suffers from ear infections, respiratory illnesses, and tonsillitis compared to babies of non-smokers.
Babies of smoking mothers are also 38% more likely to be treated and hospitalized for pneumonia in their first year of life compared to babies of non-smokers.
You should avoid smoking around your child in the first few years of your baby’s life to lower the risk of asthma development. Continual smoking after the baby is born can prompt frequent and severe asthma attacks for kids who were already born with the disease.
Smoking while your nursing is ill-advised because you could be passing along harmful chemicals from the cigarettes to your baby via breast milk.
Heavy smoking can also reduce your milk supply, and could cause symptoms like vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps in the baby on rare occasions.
You probably already knew that smoking while pregnant was terrible for you, but now that you know it is much worse for your baby hence make the honest initiative to quit smoking altogether. Visit to learn about smoking and pregnancy.
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