Every mother to be is greatly concerned with the health and well being of her unborn child. For most mothers their children are born perfectly fine because they are considered low risk pregnancies to begin with or they took the necessary steps to achieve a healthy pregnancy. Pregnancy health issues are different for each woman; some suffer from diabetes or high blood pressure, which are easily treatable. However, a mother to be who is addicted to smoking faces a more challenging journey through her pregnancy. The health of her child is entirely up to her, there is nothing a doctor can do to protect the health of that child. Even tobacco companies warn mothers to be against smoking, which says a lot coming from companies that unapologetically sell a product that harms the health of a variety of individuals – yet, they understand the damage that can be done, in particular to an infant. Read on to learn the risks of smoking during pregnancy and the effects it can have on an unborn child.
Warning and Risks of smoking While Pregnant
Before you become pregnant you should be aware of the risks of smoking and pregnancy. Some individuals have trouble conceiving as a result of smoking, and the effectiveness of fertility treatments is greatly lowered. Consider the impact smoking has on your unborn child once they are conceived:
– When you smoke your baby smokes – smoking pollutes your baby’s environment (your womb) and limits their intake of necessary nutrients and access to oxygen
– Smoking increases your chances of miscarriage, premature delivery or still birth
– Certain methods of smoking cessation can still be harmful to the fetus
The Effects of Smoking while Pregnant
The effects of smoking during pregnancy are abundant and devastating. Here are some of the ways in which smoking can harm your unborn child and ruin their chance of a healthy start:
– Low birth weight
– Damage to lungs that cause them to not function properly
– Smaller than average organs
– Higher risk of death from SIDS (Sudden – Infant Death Syndrome)
– Sickly child (may become ill frequently)
– Psychological and physical disabilities, including learning disorders
– Higher risk of becoming smokers themselves
Some smokers who are also mothers to be are under the misconception that smoking fewer cigarettes will lower the risk of their baby developing health issues as a result of their smoking. However, cutting back on smoking is still smoking and the unborn child is still living in a tainted environment. Therefore they can still fall victim to the damaging effects of smoking. The only way to ensure the health of an unborn child is to quit smoking altogether during pregnancy.
Many mothers to be find that concern for the well being of their baby is enough motivation to quit smoking, and some can do so cold turkey. Still, there are those who struggle and require lots of support from their doctor or midwife and family and friends. Ask your doctor what the safest options are for you if you think you cannot quit smoking on your own. Develop a smoking cessation plan and get on your way to a healthy, smoke free pregnancy.