Smoking During Pregnancy

Smoking while pregnant may be potentially harmful for women and their unborn children. Cigarette smoke contains more than 2000 components which include very harmful cyanide, carbon monoxide and nicotine. These substances are absorbed by placenta which affects the unborn child. Health experts recommend that pregnant women quit smoking while pregnant. This article focuses on the effects of smoking on mother and fetus..

Smoking During Pregnancy – Effects


One risk that a woman runs if she smokes excessively during pregnancy is miscarriage. While miscarriage may occur to any woman, whether or not she is a smoker, studies have shown that smoking increases the risk of miscarriage.

Premature Delivery:-

Premature labor  may be one outcome of  smoking while pregnant. If a baby is born before 28 weeks it is considered to be to be premature and requires extra specialist pediatric care. The main concern is that the baby’s lungs would not have been fully developed yet and that could result in further complications.

Birth Defects:-

Another risk to the unborn fetus if the mother smokes heavily during pregnancy is that the baby may be born with a cleft palate and/or cleft lip. The baby may have some abnormalities such as learning disabilities and mental retardation. Smoking inhibits the passage of oxygen into the blood stream.  This may cause an increase in the baby’s heart rate.

Birth Weight:-

Studies have shown that babies of mothers who smoke have a birth weight lower than the national average. There are various reasons for this but the best way to avoid this risk is to totally stop or at least drastically reduce the inhaling of nicotine.

Placenta Problems:-

It is believed that heavy smoking by the expectant mother may be one cause of placentas separating from the uterus wall. This is highly dangerous for both mother and baby.

Smoking During Pregnancy – How to Quit

Quitting smoking at any time by any smoker is challenging and many have failed to fulfill their hopes to break free of this addiction. Expectant mothers, however, have the added responsibility of another life that is totally dependent on her. This often proves to be the great motivator. Here are some tips on what to do to break free:

  • Change your habits. If you feel like smoking and you are stressed, do something else.
  • Have a healthy diet which includes lot of fruits and vegetables in it.
  • Chew on a straw whenever you feel like smoking. Chewing on a straw will give the feeling of having something in your mouth.
  • Stay away from alcohol and caffeine.
  • Excuse yourself when others around you begin to smoke.
  • Explain to friends and family why you are trying to quit and ask for their support.
  • Find a person who will hold you accountable for what you do yet, at the same time, will encourage you through the times when you slip and sneak a puff or two.

Remember – another life depends on you!

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