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We all know that smoking is dangerous to health. It is one of the most harmful habits for health. However, although we are all aware of the damage it causes to health, many insist on continuing with this custom that, in many cases, has already become a vice.
Tobacco harms not only those who smoke, but also those who are close to them and, in the case of pregnant women, the fetus that is forming and growing in their womb. If you are pregnant and have not stopped smoking, you can harm your health and that of your baby. These are the main risks you should know about smoking during pregnancy.
The lung is the organ that suffers the most from the effects of smoking, because it absorbs all the chemicals that exist in cigarette smoke. Some of these chemicals cause the blood vessels, which supply the uterus with blood, to narrow, causing your baby to get less oxygen and nourishment from the blood than it should. As a consequence of this weakness, the baby may suffer some more or less serious risks such as:
- Of little weight at birth
- Of being born prematurely
- Of being born without life
- To die from sudden death syndrome
- To develop respiratory and allergic diseases such as asthma suffered by 1 in 3 infants.
- Of being born with a malformation due to the decrease in the levels of vitamin B12 and C.
Some studies show that smoking during pregnancy poses many risks to the baby, as a potent cancer-causing chemical called NNK has been shown to it is passed on to babies from mothers who smoke. Others also link smoking during pregnancy to the mother having a baby with possible behavior and learning problems. It has also been shown that the consumption of cigarettes, cigars or pipes during pregnancy can also cause an extra-uterine pregnancy or a natural abortion.
If you smoke and want to be pregnant, you should stop smoking before trying to conceive. If you are already pregnant, give up smoking as soon as possible. If, in an extreme case, you can't quite quit smoking, reduce the number of cigarettes to less than 3 a day.
That can lower the risks. If you are pregnant and want to quit smoking for your baby, but you can't, ask your doctor for help and support. The use of smoking cessation products such as nicotine patches, nicotine gum, etc., are only allowed under medical permission.
The smoke from cigarettes, or other types of tobacco, it is not healthy for a baby during its gestation or after its birth. Babies, as well as children exposed to smoke, are more likely to suffer from colds, lung problems, and ear infections.
The little ones become passive smokers. Pregnant women who do not smoke should avoid secondhand smoke. Regular exposure to smoke, even secondhand smoke, can be harmful to your baby. For this reason, the pregnant woman, even if she does not smoke, should avoid environments where smoking is allowed.
There is no greater motivation for a pregnant woman than to have a healthy, problem-free baby. If you think about it you will surely overcome the temptation to smoke. Apart from that you will need to make some decisions like getting rid of all the cigarettes, lighters and ashtrays you have. Then try to distance yourself from places and people who smoke.
Ask for help and support from your husband, partner and friends. Ask your doctor's permission to use gum, medications, and other products that can help you quit smoking. Don't be discouraged when you can't avoid smoking. If necessary, use some programs offered by public services. Remember that if your baby is born with a problem, you are likely to feel guilty. The psychological consequences will be worse for the mother who smokes.
- News from Agencia Efe and Europa Press
- University of Michigan Health System
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