The dangers of smoking and second hand smoke are widely known. It only stands to reason that the dangers of smoking during pregnancy are also extended to the unborn baby. Yes, there have been studies and research performed on the subject. These studies show the connection between smoking during pregnancy and health problems in the babies. Many medical problems have been positively correlated with smoking while pregnant. Being exposed to second hand smoke was just as unhealthy for the unborn baby. Smoking while pregnant can lead to the following serious consequences that can be avoided by quitting smoking as soon as possible. It’s no longer just about protecting yourself but also protecting your unborn child.
When a woman smokes while she is carrying her baby, all systems are essentially under attack from hundreds of known chemicals added to cigarettes. The baby’s immune system is compromised, and the effect of that is the general tendency to be sick more often with colds and other infections. Smoking during pregnancy also causes many complications for the respiratory system. The child may also have growth problems as a result of smoking as well.
There is an interesting statistic involving infants whose mothers smoked during pregnancy. The babies in this category tend to have a higher heart rate than babies whose mothers did not smoke. A baby born to a smoking mother will have a heart rate that is about 30% higher than a baby whose mother doesn’t smoke. This specifically about women who smoked while pregnant. Why this condition exists is difficult to pinpoint but it may be due in part to the baby not receiving the normal amount of oxygen due to tobacco smoke.
The immediate, physical consequences of smoking while pregnant is naturally the focus. Evidence is building that shows a correlation between smoking while pregnant and child behavioral difficulties. For example, there is a range of problems including learning disabilities and general behavioral issues. Many people are now aware of the increasing incidence and diagnosis of ADHD, or Attention Deficit – Hyperactivity Disorder, in children. While the numbers keep increasing, millions are currently diagnosed every year with this condition. Researchers know that there are many causes of ADHD, but it is also known that smoking at least half a pack a day increases your child’s tendency toward hyperactivity. This increased hyperactivity increases a child’s risk of being diagnosed with ADHD.
Quitting smoking is the first step to leading a healthy lifestyle and improving your quality of life and that of your children. If you quit smoking, you eliminate the common problems associated with smoking during pregnancy. In this case, the choice is pretty black and white. If you need more motivation to quit, research all the possible risks to your baby. Still births and a higher risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) are some of the most serious risks. Anyone can see that smoking during pregnancy is extremely harmful for your baby and for you.