Sunday, March 20, 2011

Effects And Risks Of Smoking During Pregnancy

Smoking is injurious for health is an accepted norm worldwide. When one smokes, with each puff she inhales, amongst other toxic chemicals, nicotine, carbon monoxide and cyanide. These chemicals go directly into the lungs with smoke and enter the blood. The first effect of these chemicals is that they restrict the blood vessels and obstruct the flow of oxygen through the umbilical cord to the growing foetus. In case the lady is smoking heavily, say ten cigarettes a day, chances are that she may give birth to a still born child.

The child of a heavy smoker mother has the risk of being born prematurely or is underweight at the time of birth. Due to inadequate supply of oxygen to the child in womb the lungs are not fully developed, and such children have often to be kept in incubators for quite some time. They run the risk of mental retardation, attention deficit disorder, hyperactivity disorder and may develop asthma in later life.
Smoking does result in increase in heart beat of the mother. This often results in high blood pressure and the chances of conceiving get reduced. Even if the would be mother is a moderate smoker, before deciding to conceive, it is essential that she should quit smoking. As results of passive smoking, researchers say that even if the father smokes in the room occupied by the parents, the child in the womb gets affected as the mother is a passive smoker and inhales lots of chemicals which accumulate in the room. The chances of the child becoming a smoker also increase considerably as nicotine has gone in the blood of the child even before birth.
Due to large hormonal changes that take place during pregnancy, the lady who smokes is likely to have effect on her nervous system. There are instances of urinary tract infection and consequent miscarriage. Placenta abruption may also take place resulting in heavy bleeding at the time of child birth and risk of stillbirth also increases.
After the child is born both the parents should refrain from smoking. In any case none should smoke in the room of the child. It is criminal neglect for the mother to smoke once pregnancy has been detected. It is difficult to abruptly quit smoking but medical aid can help a lot in this regard.

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