Why Is Smoking Bad during Pregnancy

While some people cringe at the thought of smoking, some find it quite a relaxing indulgence. It’s not uncommon to find a nervous individual smoking to calm down their nerves. This does not in any way make smoking good for your health. The fact of the matter is, smoking is seriously injurious to your health. Cigarette smoking or any other forms of smoking can cause adverse complications over prolonged usage.

These complications get even more serious when they are associated with a pregnant lady who smokes. Why is smoking bad during pregnancy? Smoking during pregnancy puts a pregnant woman at a higher risk of premature births, still born babies and babies who are relatively small at the time of birth.

Most doctors tend to believe that they can take care of other diseases during pregnancy with appropriate medication or otherwise but they find it very difficult to treat a woman who is pregnant and smokes. They believe that it is very important for the lady herself to realize that she needs to quit smoking for her own well-being as well as that of her unborn baby.

Unless the need and desire to quit comes from the patient herself it is very difficult for the doctor to help her and actually make her quit the dangerous dependence on cigarettes. Some of the reasons why smoking is bad during pregnancy are:

The unborn baby gets their nutrition from the blood barrier across placenta. Hence the mother’s dietary behavior affects the child even when he is in the womb. Cigarette smoke is known to contain four thousand chemicals. These chemicals even include things as dangerous as lead, cyanide, and sixty more of such compounds that cause cancer. Smoking during pregnancy causes these harmful chemicals to get into the bloodstream and it is this blood which is the unborn baby’s only source of nutrients and oxygen.

Although all of these four thousand chemicals are harmful to the unborn baby, 2 compounds are especially the culprits for almost all of smoking related complications during pregnancy. These two compounds are nicotine and carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide and nicotine together reduce the baby’s oxygen supply. This is what is responsible for the complications of still birth, preterm birth, and low birth weight.

Nicotine narrows the blood vessel lumen thus choking off oxygen. These blood vessels also include the ones in the umbilical cord. The red blood cells also tend to carry carbon monoxide instead of oxygen. The already narrowed lumen now does not even have enough oxygen for the baby.

The fact of the matter is, the risk to one’s pregnancy increases with every single cigarette that the pregnant woman smokes. It is in your best interest to put smoking habit at bay until after you’ve given birth. The survival of your baby depends on it. You definitely don’t fancy preterm births or defects associated with smoking during pregnancy. Do what is right by your baby and desist from smoking during pregnancy!