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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Smoking While Pregnant: Damaging From the Inside

Smoking While Pregnant
In addition to the different diseases that anyone may suffer from as a result of cigarette smoking, this habit is also the number one cause of all the adverse outcomes for babies. There can be too many complications that may occur when a woman smokes during pregnancy such as babies will be born prematurely, they can be too small, or they may even die before they are even born. A cigarette smoke has more than 4, 000 harmful chemicals and this includes nasty ones such as lead, cyanide, and other 60 cancer-causing substances. When a pregnant woman smokes, the toxin gets into the bloodstream, which is the baby's source of essential nutrients and oxygen.

It is important to know that none of these harmful chemicals are good for the baby. The two compounds which are extremely harmful are carbon monoxide and nicotine. These toxins are the culprit for every smoking related complication during pregnancy. And among these serious complications are premature delivery, stillbirth, and even low birth weight. All these things can be chalked up to the fact that carbon monoxide and nicotine work together in reducing the supply of oxygen for the baby. Nicotine is responsible for choking off oxygen as it narrows the blood vessels throughout the body, including those in the umbilical cord. The scenario is like forcing the baby to breathe through a very narrow straw. And to make things worse, the red blood cells that carry the oxygen start picking up the molecules of carbon monoxide. Thus, that narrow straw cannot hold as much oxygen as it should.

 There can be so many devastating effects to the baby when there is a shortage of oxygen, especially in the baby's growth and development. Smoking during pregnancy actually doubles the chances of the baby to be born earlier or weigh lesser than 5 ½ pounds. The risk for stillbirth also doubles because of smoking. And every smoke that a person smokes increases the risk to pregnancy. Even a lower consumption can still pose threat to the baby, thus there is no safe level when it comes to smoking, especially for pregnant women.

Cigarette smoking affects the baby in various ways. For one, it affects the weight and size. High consumption of cigarette can cause the baby to weigh lighter. Since they are smaller and lighter, these babies tend to have underdeveloped bodies. Most likely, their lungs is not ready to breathe on its own, which means that they need to be attached to a respirator. And even after they could breathe on their own, they are still likely to have breathing problems due to their delayed lung development and the adverse effects of nicotine. In addition, these babies also have a high tendency to suffer heart defects at birth and lifelong effects on their brain. The children of pregnant smoking women are likely to have low IQ, behavioral problems, and learning disorders.

Many people still underestimate the harmful effects of smoking. Without knowing it, they pose more threat not to themselves but most especially to the babies when they smoke while they are pregnant. These babies are never deserving to live a life full of suffering as a result of smoking.


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