What Impact Smoking has on a Pregnant Woman?

A child is conceived, nurtured and evolved in a mother’s womb and a foetus which is as yet totally dependent on its mother for food, oxygen and nourishment is bound to be affected by the intake of tobacco, which is by far one of the most fatal health hazards known to mankind.

Fertility Issues: Smoking affects the conception of a child, long before it is born by severely reducing the chance to get pregnant by not less than 50%.

Foetal Mortality: Miscarriages or casualties which happen within the first 3 months or still births at a later stage of pregnancy are the tragic fallouts of smoking. Placental abnormalities, slow foetal development can also lead to this casualty.

Ectopic Pregnancy: When the fertilized egg instead of rooming in the uterus gets stuck in the fallopian tubes, the health of the mother is severely compromised.

Placental Disruption: Smoking is also a known factor for causing the placenta to detach itself before time from the embryo causing severe bleeding and throttling the supply of oxygen and nutrition to the foetus.

Placental Previa where the placenta remains in the lower part of the uterus blocking the passage to the cervix leading to complication sin delivery and necessitating emergency procedures.

Pre-Term Birth leading to inadequate lung development, mental disability, learning disorders, low birth weight are also related to inhalation of smoke.

Low Birth Weight where the baby might not weigh more than 5½ pounds during delivery is a distinct probability with mothers who actively or passively smoke, on account of low oxygen available during its developmental stages.

The probability of birth defects occurring in such babies is usually high with children born to such mothers suffering from congenital heart defects or cleft/lip/palate.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) which is the most surprising and inexplicable cause of deaths in new born have also found to have a direct correlation with smoking.

Cigarette smoke contains more than 4000 deadly chemicals, all potentially life-threatening and causing immense damage. The carcinogenic properties of lead and cyanide found in tobacco is well-documented and these poisonous chemicals find its way to the babies directly through the blood stream leading to risk of children being born with congenital heart defects or asthma. Nicotine causes blood vessels to constrict,restricting the flow of oxygen and nutrition to the placenta and Carbon Monoxide mixes with the R.B.Cs to further adulterate the quality of blood reaching the embryo.

Even a second hand exposure to smoke is majorly detrimental to the foetal health since the end butt of a cigarette contains far more harmful chemicals leading to increased chances of having still birth, birth defects, low birth weight or the babies being more prone to infections and allergies at a later stage

It is best advisable under these circumstances before conception to ensure the ideal condition for a baby to grow and develop. If at all it is not possible in case of sudden or unplanned pregnancy, the sooner it is done, the more conducive it is, preferably in the first trimester to extend the unborn baby  a decent chance of survival.

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