Smoking during pregnancy is the most common mistake of expectant mothers. Pregnancy period for women who smoke usually occurs harder than for non-smokers and those who quit smoking before conception. Smoking expectant mothers suffer from early toxicosis, gestosis, as well as varicose veins, constipation and frequent dizziness.
Smoking accelerates vitamin C destruction, as a result the body is experiencing its deficiency and its consequences can be very serious. Vitamin C deficiency can lead to metabolic disorders, poor immunity, and there can be problems with proteins assimilation and frequent depressions.
It has been proven that due to nicotine poisoning at women during conception, risk of miscarriage increases by 8 – 10 times.
We will examine effects of this bad habit and statistical data obtained from study of pregnancy, labor and extrauterine life of children born by smoking mothers.
Smoking Effects on Pregnancy during First Trimester
It is known that during first trimester all organs and systems of human body are formed. Later on – they only will improve, and fetus will grow and gain weight. Any, even a small, negative factor may trigger missed or spontaneous miscarriage. And one of these very popular negative factors is smoking. Statistical studies show that rate of miscarriage among pregnant smokers is approximately 2 times greater than that of non-smokers. There is something to think about… The second point – various congenital pathologies. Pathology of neural tube, skeletal system and many others may appear if you do not quit smoking during early pregnancy. The danger is greater, the more cigarettes a woman smokes. However it would seem, that such minor quantities as 4 – 5 cigarettes also have a very detrimental effect. Remember that light cigarettes are not less dangerous than regular.
Smoking Effects on Pregnancy during Second and Third Trimesters
During second trimester placenta fully starts functioning. Through it baby receives nutrients and oxygen. When smoking this physiological process can go not according to plan. When smoking, baby get insufficient oxygen quantity due to which such a condition can occur as acute or chronic hypoxia (what is it?). In addition, smoking during pregnancy has consequences in the form of early placenta maturation. Placenta during bearing child gradually «gets old» and begins to function worse. There are 4 stages of placental maturity. 3rd – 4th stage normally should only occur during last 1 – 2 weeks before term birth. Maturity stage is determined by doctor with ultrasound. If placenta is too thin, irregularly shaped, then there are increased chances of intrauterine death or premature birth.
By the way, smoking during pregnancy may be one of reasons for premature labor. Smoking mothers by several times more often have premature labors. But even term born children have a lower birth weight. By the way, this is influenced, studies show that, no only by smoking during pregnancy but also before it. One of nicotine actions is narrowing vessels. While vessels are in such state, the child does not receive food and oxygen. Furthermore, this condition can be dangerous for woman, particularly if she has predisposition to thrombosis.
Stillborn children among smoking mothers appear about 20% more often than among non-smokers, if smoking more than one pack a day – 35%. Much depends not only on smoking fact, in this case, but also on social situation and presence of other adverse factors. If in addition to smoking woman consumes alcohol, has sexually transmitted diseases and other infections, keeps to poor diet, the risk is very high.
Many women believe that if not smoking during pregnancy has not immediately caused visible negative effects, then things will come right. This is not true. Children born by smokers have an increased risk of death during first year of life from sudden cardiac arrest (this phenomenon occurs in some infants with no seemingly apparent reason). The risk is much higher at those women who smoked throughout second half of pregnancy.
Congenital pathologies. Cleft lip, cleft palate, inguinal hernia, crossed eyes and even Down syndrome – all this may be caused by smoking during early and later pregnancy, especially if the mother is over 35 years old. Children are predisposed to various respiratory system diseases: bronchitis, pneumonia, etc.
Women who could not or did not want to give up smoking and continued to smoke during lactation, milk is less produced and it may acquire unpleasant bitter taste, due to which most children refuse from breast-feeding and become bottle-fed, respectively.
Mental development can also be retarded, though not as significantly. Children of smoking mothers are usually start to read and count later, they have less developed logical thinking. Various intelligence tests do not show too high results. However, there are exceptions.
Stop Smoking before Pregnancy!
Better not to start smoking, but if this bad habit has enslaved you, you should find will power to quit smoking about a year before supposed pregnancy. This year is needed for nicotine to completely disappear from female body. Some female smokers say they smoke for a long time and getting rid of this habit is impossible, but try to eat properly, take vitamins, a walk in fresh air, so that smoking had no effect on their unborn child. Of course, proper nutrition, vitamins and walking in fresh air are very useful, but still, a child is forced to receive a poisoning dose of nicotine. That is why it is necessary abandon this bad habit before pregnancy!
Quitting Smoking is Real
Quitting smoking is real! It is said that a cigarette is a drug even though it is not true! And any sane woman is able to quit smoking. The most difficult period of quitting is the first 24 hours, if to endure, not to yield, then the next day you can even not remember that you are «craving» this desired pack with nicotine. As motivation to smoke again may serve different reasons, for example, for company with friends, habitually out of boredom, desire to take a glamorous posture or nervous disorders. At this time, when your hand reaches the pack to take out and smoke a cigarette, ask yourself: «Why do I need this?» After answering yourself, try to think of another way to relieve tension, or simply occupy yourself. Quitting smoking is possible, you need to remember this.
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Quitting Cold Turkey is Dangerous!
Women who smoke for a long time and more than 10 cigarettes a day, should quit smoking during pregnancy very carefully and slowly. Pregnancy is already very stressful for the body, so any changes in usual life rhythm in this period (this includes smoking) will only exacerbate already painful woman’s condition. When a woman stops smoking abruptly, it reduced heart rate and enhanced muscles contractility and this can lead to miscarriage. Severe, painful condition can last for a long time, from a few weeks to months. The main thing is not to push yourself too hard! You have to understand that before you could only rely on your own strength, but now you need to remember that you have one more human being inside you.
How is it best to quit smoking during pregnancy? Experts say that in any case pregnant woman can not just quit cold turkey. This should be done gradually, not in one day, and extended it for 3 weeks.
During first stage, reduce number of cigarettes smoked every day by half and switch to lighter cigarette.
A week later, again reduce number of cigarettes a day. And make yourself a rule to finish cigarette is not when it ends, take a few pulls to relieve nicotine hunger and that’s enough.
On the third week, allow yourself to Take pulls only in the most extreme cases, if heartbeat becomes too rapid, you are getting dizzy, and so on. And at the end of the third week you will no longer want to take a cigarette.
In most cases, there is a sudden pregnancy, and parents are not quite ready for it. At the time, when they learn about pregnancy, the embryo is about 2 – 4 weeks old-, and by that time it had already «picked up» enough nicotine. On the 4th week liver, kidneys, digestive system, spine and brain are already beginning to form, and that’s exactly liver, kidneys, digestive system, spine and brain suffer most from nicotine influence.
Women who quit smoking during early pregnancy, worry that they had already poisoned their future baby with nicotine during first few weeks. Do not panic, you can maximally reduce detrimental effect of smoking during remained pregnancy. Be sure to notify your doctor that you have recently stopped smoking. The doctor will prescribe you vitamins rich with vitamin C and iron. It is necessary to refuse from products that contain caffeine, this includes:
- black tea;
- Coca-cola and so on.
You should as much as possible eat fresh vegetables, fruits, drink fresh juices. Try to drink as much liquid, such as milk, yogurt, green tea, non-carbonated mineral water, as possible, all this will contribute to nicotine decay products clearance. Be sure to walk at least 3 – 4 hours in fresh air, try to avoid smoke-filled rooms, and in no case, do not allow to smoke in your presence. If you follow these simple rules, you will be able to fix damage caused by nicotine to your body and give birth to a full, healthy baby.
Fathers are Also Involved
Quitting smoking, of course, is easier with your second half. First, it will prevent jealousy when your husband will go out for a smoke. Even though, many men believe that they do not have to quit smoking because they are not the ones who carry the child. But it is not true! It is believed that if one parent smokes, it anyway will reflect on future children. Nicotine poisons not only women but also men, and this is reflected on sperm quality and quantity. So in order to have a healthy child, both parents should quit smoking.
It should be noted that unlike female, male body is quicker cleared from nicotine – just in 3 months. This suggests that if only a father smoking, it is possible to plan pregnancy after 3 months from the time when he gave up smoking. If a father does not want to give up this harmful habit, try to give him the following medical research:
- It has been found by scientists that if one or both parents in the family are smokers, children are twice as likely to suffer from diseases such as pneumonia, bronchitis, asthma; tobacco contributes to blood vessels narrowing, as well as severely distracts blood oxygen saturation;
- Children whose parents smoke up to 6 times more often suffer from gastrointestinal tract diseases. Girls, who were already born as passive smokers, in later in life may appear infertile.
Is it Possible not to Quit Smoking during Pregnancy?
Many ladies are concerned whether it is possible to simply reduce number of cigarettes smoked, but not completely give up smoking. Many heavy smokers feel that they simply can not get rid of their bad habit and will suffer greatly because of this limitation. And stresses are not going to benefit not only mother but also baby. Because even some doctors do not advise to quit smoking abruptly, only to minimize number of cigarettes smoked every day. Of course, reducing number of cigarettes will reduce above pathologies likelihood, but the risk would still be higher than at non-smokers. In addition, in many cases, to gradually give up cigarettes even harder psychologically than at once stop smoking.
You can give up with only your will power, after reading about nicotine and other harmful substances harmful effects, or you can use one of popular techniques – there are plenty of useful literature to assist those who quit smoking. There are also many medications that will help you to give up smoking. Canadian Health&Care Mall offers a wide range of stop smoking medications and not only them. On our website you may not only order various high-quality medications, but also get free consultation and find many interesting articles about drugs and diseases they treat. Canadian Health and Care Mall is your health’s best friend!
Remember that smoking during pregnancy can not be useful. Fight with yourself, think about your and your child’s health. Life without cigarettes is more pleasant in every way!