Smoking during pregnancy is the most common mistake of expectant mothers. But it is this habit that is one of the most dangerous factors for the fetus. Harmful substances through the maternal bloodstream enter the baby. The degree of damage to the body depends on the number of cigarettes smoked per day and on the duration of pregnancy.
Misconceptions about smoking during pregnancy
One of the most significant myths is that smoking during pregnancy is not very dangerous for a baby. Of course it is not. Every cigarette you smoke threatens pregnancy and the health of your unborn baby. Therefore, the ideal option would be to quit smoking before conception.
It is generally accepted that higher quality cigarettes do less harm. People who agree with this are very mistaken. The effect of all cigarettes is the same, it does not depend on their price. It's just that expensive cigarettes contain various aromatic additives, they are more pleasant to smoke, but they also harm the organisms of the expectant mother and child.
There is an opinion that smoking should not be quit during pregnancy. They say that the cleaning of the body begins, it passes through the fetus and harms it. But any doctor will tell you that it is more dangerous to continue smoking.
Some pregnant women understand that their bad habit can harm the baby, but they cannot get rid of it. And then they decide to switch to lighter cigarettes, believing that in this way less nicotine and tar will enter the body. But this does not affect the risk reduction. The smoker will seek to replenish the nicotine level in the body by inhaling deeper or by smoking more cigarettes.
Gradually quitting smoking also has little effect. The best thing you can do is give up cigarettes at once. So the body will be cleansed much faster.
Effects of smoking in early pregnancy
In the first trimester of pregnancy, organs and systems of the human body are formed. In the future, they will only develop, and the fetus will gain weight and grow.
Smoking during this stage of pregnancy can cause spontaneous miscarriage or "freezing" of pregnancy. Statistics show that pregnant smokers have miscarriages 2 times more often than women who lead a healthy lifestyle.
Also, smoking in early pregnancy can cause congenital abnormalities in the development of the baby. The child will be threatened with pathologies of the neural tube, bone and other body systems, if the expectant mother does not give up her addiction.
The consequences of smoking in late pregnancy
In the second trimester, the placenta begins to work in full force. Through it, the child receives oxygen and nutrients. If a pregnant woman smokes, not enough oxygen is supplied to the child's body, which can cause acute or chronic hypoxia. Premature maturation of the placenta may also occur and it will function less well.
Smoking during pregnancy can cause premature birth. Mothers who are addicted to cigarettes are several times more likely to have premature babies. And babies born on time have less weight. By the way, this is influenced by smoking not only during pregnancy, but also before it occurs.
Stillborn babies are born in women who smoke about 20% more often than in non-smokers. If the expectant mother smokes more than a pack of cigarettes per day, the figure rises to 35%. But much depends not on the fact of smoking itself, but also on other unfavorable factors. If a woman, in addition to smoking, has sexually transmitted diseases and other infections, drinks alcohol, then the risk of giving birth to a dead baby increases significantly.
When the baby is already born
Many people believe that if smoking during pregnancy did not immediately leave various consequences, then everything is fine. But this is absolutely not the case.
Mothers who have not been able to quit smoking while carrying their baby and continue to do so later produce less milk and have a bitter taste. Because of this, many babies refuse to breast, and they have to be artificially fed.
Babies with moms who smoke have an increased risk of dying from sudden cardiac arrest. This happens in babies in the first year of life for no apparent reason. The risk is increased in those women who smoked during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy.