10 Reasons to Quit Smoking in Pregnancy

10 Reasons to Quit Smoking in Pregnancy

10 Reasons to Quit Smoking in Pregnancy
Quit Smoking!Every time you inhale tobacco smoke you ingest over 4000 chemicals including carbon monoxide, a poisonous gas, into your body. Carbon monoxide gets into your blood stream and decreases the amount of oxygen reaching your baby. Oxygen helps babies grow. Babies who don’t get enough oxygen may be born smaller and weaker. 

Quitting smoking makes sense at any time, but in pregnancy many mothers-to-be find they are especially motivated to quit. Here are the top 10 reasons to quit smoking in pregnancy.

Placenta Abruption: In this condition, the placenta disconnects off the wall of the uterus either before or during labor, necessitating an immediate delivery, usually via cesarean. A smoker’s placenta is thinner, making it more susceptible to an abruption. 

Placenta Previa: Because of a smoker’s thin placenta, it is more likely to cover the mouth of the uterus, the cervix. Bleeding during the pregnancy may result. This condition also makes vaginal birth dangerous and necessitates a cesarean section due to the risk of hemorrhage to both mother and baby. 

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS): Babies born to mothers who smoke are more likely to die from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). 

Preterm Labor: If you smoke your body is more likely to try to end your pregnancy sooner in an effort to protect your baby from the harmful smoke. Babies born even slightly prematurely (before 38 weeks) are at greater risk for complications or even death. The sooner your baby is born, the more likely your baby is to die or have serious complications, including mental retardation and cerebral palsy. 

Stillbirth: Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of your baby dying during your pregnancy. 

Low Birth Weight: Birth weight is an important factor in your baby’s health. The smaller the baby, the more it is at risk for many problems. In fact, low birth weight is one of the primary reasons for babies to be ill and die in the first months of life. 

Colic: Recent studies show that if you smoke your baby is more likely to have colic. Respiratory InfectionsIf you smoked during pregnancy or if your baby is surrounded by second hand smoke, your baby is more likely to have asthma and other respiratory problems. 

Premature Rupture of Membranes (PROM): Your water breaking too early is another risk of smoking in pregnancy. This is another risk factor that may lead to premature birth. 

Miscarriage: If you smoke, you could have trouble staying pregnant. Smoking can also decrease your fertility, making it harder to conceive. 

The good news is that no matter at what point during your pregnancy you quit smoking, your baby is getting benefits, even if you stop smoking late in your pregnancy. Don’t think you’ve missed your opportunity. Quit smoking today for the most benefits to you and your baby. 

Contact your doctor or midwife. Be honest, they are there to help you. They may know about programs available for pregnant women, or other support groups. 

The following organizations are also there to help you: 

In the US: 
American Legacy
Smoke Free

In the U.K.: 
NHS Giving Up Smoking

Author: Katharina Bishop

Katharina Bishop is the owner of Wondrous Gems, a business specializing in innovative jewelry and holistic parenting products. She now lives in southwest England together with her husband, Charles and son, Kiran

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