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Smoking and Pregnancy

Smoking, as such, is considered harmful for health. But, pregnancy is a state where one has to be very particular about certain habits, including smoking. You might have your reasons to smoke, but not at the cost of your health, and not at all at your baby’s expense. Who would not love to have a healthy baby? May be, smoking would-be mothers do not, or do they! If you are planning to have a baby, quit the habit of smoking first. Do not play around with your and your child’s health.

You may have a look into the effects of smoking on pregnant mothers. Nicotine and carbon monoxide are poisonous substances that can cause a lot of harm inside the body. During pregnancy, smoking leads to increase in the levels of carbon monoxide and nicotine in the mother’s bloodstream. These substances have frightening effects on the mother’s body, as the blood vessels are constricted and restricted, effecting the supply of oxygen and nutrients. The baby is denied its full share of nutrients and oxygen, which hampers the growth of the baby. You can compare the whole scenario to your being hungry and being offered an insufficient amount of food laced with poisonous substances. When you smoke, this is what exactly your baby experiences.

Babies born to mothers who smoke during pregnancy are likely to be premature. If the pregnancy lasts a full term, the baby may be born underweight and small. Such babies need special care under medical supervision, which extends their stay in hospital.

During pregnancy, the baby of a smoking mother is denied proper oxygen, which can lead to miscarriages or fetal brain damage. Sudden infant death syndrome can be a result of smoking, according to certain studies. Smoking is found to affect the blood pressure of the developing baby. This adversely affects its development and the child’s learning ability, like attention deficit disorder retarded mental growth. The child may also develop respiratory problems like asthma, when young.

Once your baby is born, it still is needed to be protected from smoking. Smoking leads to reduction in milk supply, and can hamper breastfeeding. Moreover, the baby gets a fair dose of nicotine through breast milk, which can cause illness in the form of diarrhea, nausea, colic etc. Second hand smoke is not good for the baby, since it affects the lungs through the nicotine it inhales. You would not like your baby to develop breathing problems.


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