Smoking during pregnancy raises your blood pressure by narrowing blood vessels. This reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients your baby receives. Smoking during pregnancy also causes blood to clot. It is very harmful to your unborn child. Cigarette smoke crosses the placenta to the baby; when you smoke, so does the baby!
Tobacco smoke contains over 250 harmful substances and can damage a developing baby. Smokers also have more complications during pregnancy than non-smokers.
What are the effects of smoking during pregnancy? The incidence of SIDS (sudden-infant death syndrome) after birth increases. The nicotine you take in during pregnancy could lead to nicotine withdrawal in baby after birth. Smoking during pregnancy has also been associated with overweight in the child later in life. Children of smokers are more likely to suffer acute ear infections and respiratory problems also. It also makes your child more prone to be a smoker themselves later in life. Let's face it. Smoking is a hard habit to kick. Aside from the damage that you do to yourself and your unborn child, it also smells really bad and is expensive.
What can you do to stop smoking? It's a hard habit to kick. Withdrawal symptoms from smoking are normal, but they are a sign that your body is healing. Cravings may be strongest during withdrawal, but after a few weeks, symptoms will decrease. It is actually easiest to quit in the earliest stages of your pregnancy. You are more prone to feel nauseated and the cigarettes will taste awful and make you feel sick. You are less likely to want them.
Here are some tips to help you quit smoking and avoid the effects of smoking during pregnancy:
* Make a list of things that you can do instead of smoking. Activities that require use of your hands are usually best.
* Make a list of things that you would like to buy for yourself (like some post pregnancy sexy clothes :-). Set aside the money that you would usually spend on cigarettes to buy them.
* Instead of smoking after meals, brush your teeth or go for a walk. Keep yourself busy.
* Drink lots of water
* Identify the "triggers" that make you want to smoke. Make a point to avoid some of those triggers to cut back on the urge.
See more tips on quitting smoking during pregnancy and staying smoke free here
Do it for yourself and your unborn child
Also, here is an article that I thought was great. It really hits the nail on the head when talking about the effects of smoking during pregnancy
Smoking and Pregnancy | The Effects of Smoking During Pregnancy | Facts For a Healthy PregnancyAuthor: Joseph A Gaetan
Thinking of Having a Baby?
If you are a male or female and are thinking about having a family the time to stop smoking is long before conception occurs. Smoking and second hand smoke can affect your chances of conceiving and can be damaging to reproductive organs, eggs and semen. Smoking during the first trimester can result in a host of problems and issues that can impact both the expectant mother and fetus. Smoking, including the effects of second hand smoke after giving birth, can affect the health and development of the new-born baby.
Teratogens are drugs, chemicals, or even infections that can cause abnormal fetal development and include alcohol, carbon monoxide and nicotine. Smoking and drinking result in high levels of alcohol, nicotine and carbon monoxide in the blood stream.
Carbon Monoxide has a higher affinity for haemoglobin than oxygen and a pack a day smoker will have carboxyhaemoglobin levels as high as 80 ppm and if you smoke all day you always have carbon monoxide in your blood stream that can affect you, your embryo or even your chances of conceiving or delivering.
Nicotine clears the body by way of first-order kinetics. One cigarette has a half life of 2 hours, which means if you smoke during the day you always have both carbon monoxide and nicotine in your blood stream 24-7, 365 days a year. Nicotine, the main psychoactive ingredient in tobacco, readily crosses the placental barrier to cause growth and neurobehavioral abnormalities in the offspring.
Alcohol clears the blood stream slowly by way of zero-order kinetics at a constant rate of 10-15 ml per hour or 1.0 ounce of 100 proof alcohol per hour and you can't speed up its elimination.
Smoking is bad enough but smoking and drinking is worth quitting if you want to improve your chances of becoming pregnant and having a happy healthy baby.
Effects of Smoking Before Pregnancy
Smoking can adversely affect the ability of individuals to conceive and bear children
Smoking decreases fertility levels in both men and women
Tobacco use has been shown to cause erectile dysfunction (ED) in men
Smoking damages sperm DNA
Women who smoke are roughly twice as likely to experience a delay in conception
Smoking can speed up the rate at which fertility declines
Smoking can be harmful to the female ovaries
The severity of damage due to smoking is proportional to the amount and length of time that a woman smokes
The chemicals found in cigarettes, primarily nicotine, can interfere with the female's natural ability to produce estrogen
The nicotine found in cigarettes can also cause eggs to be more prone to genetic abnormalities
Effects of Smoking During Pregnancy
Early rupture of membranes and premature rupture of the amniotic sac that can induce labor before the baby is fully developed
Infants exposed to smoke, both during pregnancy and after birth, are found to be more at risk of SIDS due to the increased levels of nicotine often found in SIDS cases
Smoking nearly doubles the risk of low birthweight babies
Smoking during pregnancy is implicated in placenta previa, ectopic pregnancies, placental abruption and congenital heart defects
Women who smoke anytime during the first trimester put their fetus at a higher risk for birth defects
Smoking can also impair the general development of the placenta and therefore the umbilical cord (which transfers oxygen and nutrients from the mother's blood to the placenta)
Smoking Effects After Pregnancy
Children who are exposed to secondhand smoke after birth are more likely to die of SIDS
Infants born to smoking mothers are at an increased risk for bronchitis, pneumonia, ear infections, asthma, and impaired respiratory function and slowed lung growth
Babies born to mothers who smoked during pregnancy may undergo withdrawal-like symptoms
Joseph A. Gaetan Cht, Clt. is a smoking cessation specialist and cessation program design consultant, who has spent over 10 years helping people to quit smoking. Mr Gaetan received formal smoking cessation specific training from reputable organizations in the United States, Canada and the U.K. As a hands on smoking cessation specialist Mr Gaetan has helped thousands of people through the process of quitting and staying quit. Losing two family members to the battle against lung cancer motivated Mr. Gaetan to develop an ethical and efficacious program aimed at helping people beat their nicotine dependency.
Quit smoking now!!- See more here