Pregnancy

Effects of Tobacco on Pregnancy

Cigarettes not only have tobacco in them, but also contain more than 4,000chemicals that include dangerous and toxic substances like lead and cyanide. They also contain about 60 cancer causing compounds. When you smoke during pregnancy, these toxic substances enter the blood stream, which is the only means of nutrients and oxygen to your growing fetus. There are many effects of tobacco on pregnancy.

Effects of Tobacco on Pregnancy:

Following are some of the effects of smoking during pregnancy:

  • Weight and Size:

On average, if you smoke a pack a day during pregnancy, then the baby will weigh one half pound less than it would if you hadn’t smoked. Smoking 2 packs a day throughout your pregnancy can make your baby one pound lighter. Some women may want to deliver a smaller baby. But a stunted growth can have long term negative consequences that last a lifetime.

  • Body and Lungs:

Babies with less weight tend to have under-developed bodies. The lungs are not developed and they are not ready to function. Immediately after birth, these babies are put on artificial respiration. After they start breathing on their own, the babies may have breathing problems as their lungs are not developed. Children born to mothers who smoke are vulnerable to asthma and have a greater chance of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).

  • Heart:

Babies whose mothers smoked heavily during the first trimester of pregnancy have more chances of having birth defects. According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, babies born to mothers who smoked during their first trimester of pregnancy are more likely to have a heart defect at birth. Some of the common defects are right ventricular obstructions and atrial septal defects.

  • Brain function:

Tobacco can have lifelong effects on the baby’s brain. Babies born to smokers are more likely to suffer from behavioral problems, learning disorders, and low IQ’s. The effects of tobacco on a growing fetus are devastating. If you are a smoker, quitting is the number one thing you can do for a healthy pregnancy.

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