Smoking During Pregnancy

Smoking always lands you in the danger zone. It results in major health troubles and might lead to respiratory and cardiovascular disorders. Lung diseases, including cancer, are found to be more among chain smokers. Unlike other addictions such as alcohol, passive smoking is equally dangerous as active one. If that is the case, we can imagine how harmfully suffocating it will be for the baby who lies inside the smoker.

Pregnant smokers risk both their health as well as that of their unborn baby. A recent US study shows that more than ten per cent of pregnant women do smoke. Though the percentage is lesser, in developing nations also, there is an increased smoking tendency among pregnant women.

We realise how drastically dangerous the situation is from the following statistics published by the U.S. Public Health Service. If all the pregnant women of the world stop smoking there will be eleven percent reduction of stillbirths. Newborn deaths will also come down to five percent. This means, by smoking cigarettes, mothers are in fact denying their children’s right to live.

Thinking about a remedy? Not yet. We will have to wait further for the medical world to let out such a ray of hope. Out of the 2500 chemicals contained in cigarette smoke, we still do not know precisely which chemical is injurious to the health of developing baby. However, both carbon monoxide and nicotine are found to fatal to the embryo.

As far as possible, pregnant women who do not smoke themselves should keep away from other people’s smoke. This is because passive smoking can also reduce the baby’s growth.

Majority of pregnant smokers end up having babies with less than the required weight. Preterm deliveries are also common. Premature and low weight babies have higher risk of health problems during their newborn period. Chronic lifelong disabilities also might occur in rare cases. Pregnancy complications are also associated with smoking. This includes Placenta previa (low-lying placenta) and Placental abruption (peeling away of placenta before delivery). Both the conditions result in heavy bleeding and the lives of mother and baby will be at stake.


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