How dangerous smoking during pregnancy is for your baby

The whole point of pregnancy is to be able to create a new life. This is when all mothers need to decide whether they will continue their smoking habit. Your pregnancy can be a strong motivation which might just be what you need to stop smoking permanently, since you are damaging your health as well.

Why is it dangerous to smoke during pregnancy?

Cigarette smoke contains about 4000 chemical substances, 60 of which cause cancer. When you’re smoking during pregnancy your baby is also affected with these chemicals over the blood stream, which is also its only source of oxygen and nutrients. Even though not one of these 4000 chemicals is good for your baby, two substances are especially dangerous – nicotine and carbon monoxide. Most of serious complications including low birth weight, premature birth and more are caused by the effect of nicotine and carbon monoxide, obstructing the flow of oxygen to the baby. Nicotine tends to narrow down the blood vessels in the entire body, including those in the navel cord. It’s basically the same as if you are forcing the baby to breathe through a narrow straw.

What effect does smoking have on the baby?

Lack of oxygen can have a devastating effect on your baby and its development. Smoking during this fragile phase doubles the possibility of the baby being born too soon which directly means that it will also be underweight. Every cigarette improves the risk of complications in the pregnancy. A couple of cigarettes per day are safer than an entire box, but the difference isn’t really that huge. The body is most sensitive to those first doses of nicotine so even one or two cigarettes per day can significantly narrow the blood vessels.

What can you do?

Beyond all of this data and information there lies an unbelievable chance which is to provide your baby with a healthy and normal start. It would be best if you managed to stop smoking before pregnancy, you might even find it easier to get pregnant since smoking reduces the chance of conception in about 40% of women. Of course, you won’t need to battle the cravings in time when you need to think about other things. However, this doesn’t work for everyone. If you just found out you’re pregnant and you are still smoking, you still have time to stop it and prevent any significant damage done to the baby.

Even though you are completely sure about dangers of smoking for your baby, it’s not really easy to give up this nasty habit. Firing up a cigarette might be something you will do regardless of your baby, which is why this is such a dangerous addiction. Because of this, it’s best to ask for help while you’re trying to quit smoking – your doctor, parents, friends or your partner can all provide the essential support you need to successfully quit smoking. It is tough, but it is also manageable if you really put your mind into it – this time around you have a very good reason too.

About the author

Rani Vyas

Rani Vyas

I'm a Medical Consultant Doctor with a keen interest in Medical bioinformatics and genuinely intriguing way of presenting boring medical knowledge in an enchanting and eye catching way.

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