/Why Don’t Women Smoke During Pregnancy and Stop Smoking Future Mums!

Why Don’t Women Smoke During Pregnancy and Stop Smoking Future Mums!

We like to see our visitors asking the question: “Why don't women smoke during pregnancy” and it shows you future Mom's do care. Stop smoking all future Mums! The dangers of continuing really don't bear thinking about.

Am I over-dramatizing this? No definitely not! There is a massive amount of evidence of the harm it does to the baby in so many ways which cannot be dismissed.

Image of a girl smoking which illustrates our article about Why Don't Women Smoke During Pregnancy.
CC BY-NC by zubrow

The word ‘Mother' is synonymous with care, love and all good things on the earth. However, smoking mothers can be inadvertently killing and maiming their children – born and unborn. Shocked? It's true. Smoking mothers are potentially gifting their children with lung cancer and many other similarly devastating diseases through second hand smoke. Pregnant women harm their unborn babies directly in the womb.

Besides the above horrifying facts, here are more unsettling reasons to bear in mind when smoking. It will not only interfere with your health, it will also interfere with the health of your unborn child:

1. First of all, smoking makes it hard to conceive. Reports show that fertility in both men and women are heavily affected by smoking. In women, smoking interferes with the egg movement toward the fallopian tubes as well as the hormones that are produced during pregnancy; while in men, it lowers the semen count, and the motility of the sperm. In many cases smoking also affects the shape of the sperm making it incapable of penetrating the egg.

2. Children born of smoking parents potentially inherit a low fertility syndrome and suffer from a great number of infertility problems.

3. Smoking in many cases is the main cause for impotency in men as it interferes with the blood supply to the penis.

4. The baby in the womb of a pregnant smoking woman gets its nicotine addiction right from pre-birth as its blood imbibes the nicotine that the mother’s blood shares with it; hence it is more likely that when born they would become a smoker – and also contract all smoking related diseases.

5. In rare cases the placenta is directly affected by smoking causing a miscarriage of the foetus, or death in the womb.

6. Babies of smoking mothers will be most likely to be born premature and under weight.

7. Babies are also likely to have less developed vital organs than their counterparts (babies of non-smoking mothers) – there is a great likelihood that these babies have an undeveloped liver which will affect them throughout their lives.

8. The babies of pregnant smoking women have poor lung functions right from birth.

9. These babies are twice as prone to die from sudden-infant-death (SID) syndrome than the babies of non-smoking women.

10. The babies of those women who smoked 15-20 cigarettes a day are more likely to be sickly.

Any one of the above causes should be sufficient enough to make you quit smoking – if not for yourself, for your little miracle that is being formed in your womb. Read the above lines again, and then once more – is that what you want to give to your most precious creation? Would you really be comfortable thinking that you are voluntarily and consistently harming your child even before their born? These are some questions that you should to ponder seriously.

Get in touch with your doctor today and enlist his/her help to quitting smoking. You owe it to your child to be healthy and give them a healthy beginning to the start of their life. As a mother, you are the nurturing contact of the child – do not become the poison in your own child’s life.

Birth Defects from Smoking During Pregnancy

Babies born to moms who smoke are more likely to have certain birth defects compared to infants with mothers who don't smoke during pregnancy, a large new study shows.

The study, reported on www.webmd.com, took a fresh look at 50 years of research, is the first scientific review of studies that have looked at the connection between smoking and birth defects. It includes information on nearly 12 million infants, including 173,000 that were born with malformed bodies.

They extracted data from those studies and pooled the numbers to create a big-picture look at birth defects related to cigarette smoking.

Image shows the effect of smoking during pregnancy.
CC BY-NC by amy.shephard

Babies born to mothers who smoked had roughly 20% to 30% higher odds of having shortened or missing arms and legs, cleft lips and cleft palates, and abnormally shaped heads or faces compared to babies born to nonsmoking mothers.

“These defects last a lifetime,” says study researcher Allan Hackshaw, deputy director of the University College London Cancer Center in the U.K. “They can be fixed to some extent, but they're visible on the baby and infants and more or less for life.”

Maternal smoking was associated with a 27% excess risk of gastrointestinal abnormalities, including problems with the throat, esophagus, colon, intestine, bile ducts, gall bladder, and liver.

Additionally, infants born to smokers had 50% higher odds of being born with their intestines hanging outside the body and a 20% increased risk of being born with a blocked or closed anus.

Smoking accounted for a 9% increased risk of heart defects and a 13% higher risk that baby boys would be born with undescended testes.

The study is published in Human Reproduction Update.

Cigarette smoke contains about 4,000 chemicals. Researchers don't fully understand how that toxic mixture may cause birth defects.

Smoking makes it harder for a woman to get pregnant. Women who smoke during pregnancy are more likely than other women to have a miscarriage. Smoking can cause problems with the placenta—the source of the baby’s food and oxygen during pregnancy. For example, the placenta can separate from the womb too early, causing bleeding, which is dangerous to the mother and baby.

Can I Smoke e-Cigarettes During Pregnancy?

Image shows e-Cigarettes smoking which is also to be avoided during pregnancy.
e-Cigarette smoking is also to be avoided

Electronic cigarettes (also called electronic nicotine delivery systems or e-cigarettes) come in different sizes and shapes, including “pens,” “mods,” (i.e., these types are modified by the user) and “tanks.” Most e-cigarettes contain a battery, a heating device, and a cartridge to hold liquid. The liquid typically contains nicotine, flavorings, and other chemicals. The battery-powered device heats the liquid in the cartridge into an aerosol that the user inhales.

Although the aerosol of e-cigarettes generally has fewer harmful substances than cigarette smoke, e-cigarettes and other products containing nicotine are not safe to use during pregnancy. Nicotine is a health danger for pregnant women and developing babies and can damage a developing baby’s brain and lungs. Also, some of the flavorings used in e-cigarettes may be harmful to a developing baby. Learn more about e-cigarettes and pregnancy.

Risks of Smoking While Pregnant

If you smoke and want to get pregnant, quitting the habit should be a priority. Smoking can prevent you from getting pregnant in the first place. Even in the first trimester smoking affects the health of your unborn baby. Both male and female smokers are about twice as likely to have issues with fertility compared to nonsmokers, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

Secondhand smoke is just as dangerous to the fetus. The Environmental Protection Agency has classified secondhand smoke as a group A carcinogen. That means it's known to cause cancer in humans.

The unexpected loss of a pregnancy is a tragic event at any stage. Miscarriages typically occur in the first three months of pregnancy. On rare occasions, they can occur after 20 weeks of gestation. This is called a stillbirth.

Did You Know About the Dangerous Chemicals in Cigarette Smoke?

Smoking is widely known to be hazardous to human health. But did you know when you light up, 4,000 dangerous chemicals go up in smoke? This toxic smoke can endanger your unborn child. Smoking can increase the incidence of miscarriage, premature birth, low birth weight, hyperactivity and problems with learning and behavior. Both premature birth and low birth weight can be life-threatening.

Top Study Confirms the Risks of Smoking in Pregnancy

The study, “Maternal smoking in pregnancy and birth defects,” has been published in the journal Human Reproduction Update from the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, and is the first-ever comprehensive systematic review conducted to examine which specific birth defects are associated with smoking.

The research team reviewed observational studies published between 1959 and 2010, including 101 different research studies. Dr. Michael Katz, senior Vice President for Research and Global Programs of the March of Dimes, a leading non-profit organization devoted to pregnancy and baby health, says the study “tells us specifically how bad smoking is.”

Additionally, the review found evidence that women who smoke are more likely to have a baby with two or more defects.

According to data presented at the 2009 14th World Conference on Tobacco or Health in Mumbai, about 250 million women worldwide use tobacco daily. In the U.S., about 20% of women reported smoking in 2009, and despite the known risks, many women still smoke during pregnancy.

Do You Know What Scares a Top Gynecologist About women Smoking When Pregnant?

Cartoon image of a woman smoking with a baby in her womb.Robert Welch has helped thousands of women with high-risk pregnancies realize their dreams of a healthy baby. But even after all those successes, there's still one situation that truly scares him: a pregnant woman who can't quit smoking.

“Smoking cigarettes is probably the No. 1 cause of adverse outcomes for babies,” says Welch, who's the chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Providence Hospital in Southfield, Michigan. He's seen the complications far too many times: babies born prematurely, babies born too small, babies who die before they can be born at all. In his view, pregnancies would be safer and babies would be healthier if pregnant smokers could somehow swap their habit for a serious disease such as diabetes or high blood pressure.

“I can control those conditions with medications,” Welch says. But when a pregnant woman smokes, he says, nothing can protect her baby from danger.

Count Your Newborn's Fingers and Toes Carefully if You Smoke During Pregnancy!

One of the first things every new parent does is count the baby's fingers and toes. But, women who smoke during pregnancy may be in for an unhappy surprise, because smoking increases the odds that a baby will be born with finger or toe deformities.

Just a half a pack a day increased the risk of having a baby with extra, missing or webbed fingers or toes by nearly 30 percent, according to a study in a recent issue of the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

“One of the things that smoking does is interfere with oxygen delivery to cells at very key moments in development,” explained Dr. Manuel Alvarez, chairman of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Hackensack University Medical Center, in New Jersey. “If cells are deprived of oxygen, they don't proliferate as they should. If cells don't proliferate, you can have limb deformities.”

Smoking Mums Raise the Risk of a Birth Defect Called Gastroschisis

The biggest increase in risk was for their baby having a birth defect called gastroschisis, in which part of its stomach or intestines protrude through the skin.

“People think that few women still smoke when pregnant. But the reality is that particularly in women under 20, the numbers are still staggeringly high”, said Professor Allan Hackshaw, the lead author, who is based at the UCL cancer institute. Public health education efforts usually do not mention birth defects as a possible result of maternal smoking, because until now it was not known which ones were linked.

Surely Mums to be Don't Smoke Any More?

Not so. A remarkably high number of pregnant women in the UK have been ignoring this advice.

We hope you won't be one of them after reading this!

Recent NHS data showed the proportion of pregnant women who were still smoking when they delivered their baby had fallen from 16.1% in 2006 to 14% in England last year, but was as high as 31.4% in Blackpool.

Janet Fyle, professional policy adviser at the Royal College of Midwives, said the study underlined that smoking both before conception and while pregnant damaged both the mother and foetus's health.

“Partners should also consider this as a good time to consider giving up smoking.”

Totalypregnant.com does not give advice. All readers are required to do their own research to confirm our published details.

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