Smoking is never considered to be the best of habits. The need for a woman to quit smoking increases drastically when she becomes pregnant. Smoking during pregnancy has many side effects. The risks posed by smoking to the unborn child are many.
Smoking decreases the amount of oxygen supplied to the baby. Instead of oxygen, the red blood cells will be forced to carry carbon monoxide, which is toxic in nature.
Cigarette smoke also contains harmful substances like nicotine. Nicotine causes the narrowing of the blood vessels. The blood vessels of the umbilical cord and uterus are constricted to a great extent and as a result only a less amount of oxygen and nutrients can be supplied to the baby in the womb. The baby is thus deprived of his rightful share of oxygen leading to further complications.
The risk of still birth and miscarriage increases by smoking. Smoking during pregnancy also increases the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).The incidence of ectopic pregnancy, placenta previa and placental abruption during pregnancy also increases due to smoking.
If the mother is a heavy smoker then there are also chances of premature delivery and also the birth of babies having low birth weight. The babies will have considerably low muscle mass. The development of the lungs of the baby will also affect and he will be born with a serious condition called infant respiratory distress syndrome.
Babies born to smoking mothers will be highly susceptible to contract asthma later on. Also the development of the brain of the baby will be affected leading to serious behavioral problems and learning disorders in his later life.
The risk of cerebral palsy and congenital heart diseases also increases. In addition such babies will have a greater chance of contracting diabetes and becoming obese.
If you smoke during your pregnancy period, then you tend to put on weight in more than the required amounts. Also smoking reduces the chances of a normal delivery and the doctor will have to opt for a cesarean section for the safety of the mother and baby.
Pregnant women should stop smoking in order to have a healthy baby. Not only active smoking but passive smoking can also ham the baby. So it will be wise to stop smoking and stay away from people who smoke.