You may not have been too concerned about the effects of smoking on your health, but if you are an expectant mother, quit now! Effects of smoking during pregnancy are many and all bad.
Each cigarette that you smoke is sending harmful carcinogenic chemicals like tar, carbon monoxide, nicotine etc straight to your unborn child.
These chemicals affect the health of the unborn child and can even cause a miscarriage or still birth.
Smoking cigarettes when pregnant can lead to vaginal bleeding, ectopic pregnancy, the placenta may completely or partially peel away before the delivery, or it may result in low-lying placenta that may cover the uterus opening.
The chances of a miscarriage or giving birth to a stillborn child also increase severely for women who smoke when pregnant.
Smoking reduces oxygen absorption for the expectant mother, thus denying sufficient oxygen to the developing baby.
The baby will be underweight, have weaker lungs, could be premature or have birth defects like cleft lips. Other effects of smoking when expecting a baby include serious health issues, permanent disabilities like mental retardation and cerebral palsy.
Some babies may also face premature deaths. They are also more likely to suffer from diseases like pneumonia, bronchitis, asthma, respiratory disorders and ear infections.
Why quitting is a good idea
Quitting smoking may seem like a daunting task, but it is essential to protect the baby from potential health hazards. Do not use patches or nicotine gum unless your caregiver gives you the green signal. Ask for support from your partner, friends or family members to help you quit smoking so that you may protect your unborn child from the side effects of smoking when pregnant.
A lot of will power will be required to get through the withdrawal symptoms and to keep on the wagon. Each time you are tempted remind yourself about the reasons for quitting. In case you do fall off, do not despair, start afresh. Protect your unborn child.