The Effects of Smoking While Pregnant: These Are the Dangers to Your Baby

This guest post was written by Nancy Baker, co-founder of “ChildMode gives first-time millennial parents the lowdown on pregnancy and babies with stage-by-stage content, expert advice, breaking news, style inspiration. At ChildMode, we aim to empower new parents and parents-to-be with expert content and advice, personalized advice and checklists and more.”

There are some mixtures that definitely go together, like ice tea and lemonade, or cake and ice cream, but smoking while you’re pregnant is not one of those things that makes a great combination. On top of it being just a horrible idea, it presents a host of other problems that could alter your life and your child’s life in an exceptionally negative way.

Usually, this would be the part of the article where we tell you all of the reasons that you should quit and things that you do to replace those daily cigarettes. The effects of smoking while pregnant can be negative, and to give you a good look into why it is negative, we have compiled a couple of effects that smoking causes to share with you.

RELATED: Smoking During Pregnancy (SDP) – 2019 Statistics & How to Stop It?

Becoming pregnant

the effects of smoking while pregnant: these are the dangers to your baby

Most people don’t think that your ability to become pregnant will be affected by your smoking habit, but it can be negatively impacted. Smoking can cause you to have issues with fertility and this goes for both men and women.

It can take longer to conceive or cause issues conceiving entirely. Additionally, smoking can cause a host of health issues for your unborn child in the first trimester. And the first trimester is a sensitive time for your child, and you, as your body begins to change.

Miscarriage and stillbirth

the effects of smoking while pregnant: these are the dangers to your baby

The loss of a pregnancy can happen at any point in time during the nine months, and after you give birth, if your child isn’t born breathing, it is called stillbirth. Anything after twenty weeks of gestation is classified as a stillbirth instead of a miscarriage.

Because of the dangerous chemicals that are in a cigarette, smoking raises your risk of miscarriage and stillbirth significantly. Smoking can cause a placenta rupture and slowed fetal development, which can also lead to miscarriage and/or stillbirth.

Placental abruption / Placenta previa

the effects of smoking while pregnant: these are the dangers to your baby

The only way for your child to get the nutrients and vitamins that they need to grow and develop is through the placenta. It’s what connects your child to you and allows you to create that coveted bond shared by mother and child.

When you smoke during pregnancy, the toxins and chemicals that flow through the placenta can cause the placenta to separate from the uterus. This not only can cause internal bleeding but can also lead to life-threatening consequences for the mother and her unborn child.

Another thing smoking can cause is placenta previa. It is important that your placenta doesn’t cover your cervix, and your doctor will check to make sure the placenta isn’t sitting in the lower half of the uterus. When it covers your cervix, it can tear and cause bleeding which cuts off the nutrients and oxygen that the fetus needs.

Preterm birth

the effects of smoking while pregnant: these are the dangers to your baby

When a baby is born too early it can cause severe problems for them, such as an undeveloped brain stem or underdeveloped lungs. This can force them to remain in the hospital for weeks and even months after birth, and in the worst scenarios, it can mean that the child doesn’t leave the hospital at all.

Preterm birth can also cause mental problems, vision impairment, loss of hearing, and behavioral problems.

Low birth weight

the effects of smoking while pregnant: these are the dangers to your baby

Babies are so cute and small and cherub-like, but it is anything but cute when your child is born at a low birth weight. There are a number of deaths that result from a baby being born too early and at low birth weight.

A low birth weight can cause developmental delays later on in life for your child, cerebral palsy, hearing issues, as well as sight issues. It is important that your child gains weight in the womb, otherwise your doctor will be concerned.

Increased SIDS risk

the effects of smoking while pregnant: these are the dangers to your baby

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) plagues the minds of parents before their child is born, and it continues to plague our minds even after the baby is born. SIDS is just what it sounds like: sudden death without a noticeable cause or reason.

When your child is exposed to the toxic chemicals of a cigarette or lives in an environment where smoking is prevalent, it can increase the risk that your child will be a victim of SIDS.

All parents, especially mothers, should take into account all of the things that I’ve listed above for you. Smoking while pregnant is serious and can cause serious consequences that may end the life of your developing unborn child.

Give them a chance to thrive by putting the cigarette down and quitting your smoking habit today. It may not be easy, but in the end, it will be well worth it when you wake up every day and continue to help your child grow and develop into the person that they are meant to become. Take care of yourself and your baby!

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