Cigarette Smoke – Tarnishing Consequences On Pregnancy

A startling revelation made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that nearly thirteen percent of women indulged in smoking during their last trimester of pregnancies. Though there is awareness about smoking affecting the foetus, one would be stunned by the intensity and range of damage that one’s smoking habit could have on one’s unborn baby and oneself.

Facts depict wide-ranging effects

Effects Of Smoking During PregnancyCigarette smoke has 2,500 kinds of chemicals constituents. Though the extent to which these chemicals have a bearing on the foetus is yet fuzzy. However, the carbon monoxide and nicotine present in cigarette could majorly lead to complications with one’s pregnancy and the foetus.

Krisa Van Meurs, M.D., associate professor of paediatrics from the Stanford University School of Medicine states that carbon monoxide attaches to the haemoglobin leading to the formation of a molecule that lowers the possibility of adequate oxygen supply to the unborn child. Nicotine penetrates the placental layer, wherein it could touch elevated toxicity levels that are much higher than even what the woman who would be smoking experiences, thus leading to detrimental outcomes.

Effects on the Foetus

A woman indulging in smoking while pregnant is almost twice as prone to delivering an underweight child (i.e., lesser than five pounds, eight ounces). Analogously those expectant women who smoke raise their likelihood of having a premature delivery.  Babies born underweight and premature are highly prone to developing other grave health conditions, inclusive of cerebral palsy and even be mentally retarded. Furthermore, a study conducted by the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities shows that smoking just prior to getting pregnant and during the initial three months of pregnancy raises the baby’s likelihood of developing congenital heart anomalies.

Pregnancy related Complications

Pregnant women that smoked were two times more prone to experiencing particular complications during pregnancy as compared to those pregnant women who did not smoke. The commonly observed pregnancy complications comprise of placenta previa – the placenta partly or totally covering the mouth of the uterus and placental abruption – the premature placental detachment from the uterine wall. In case a pregnant woman indulges in smoking, then she most likely would face an untimely tear of the membranes (the water bag bursting prior to reaching 37 weeks of gestation),thus leading to premature delivery.

Outcome on the Baby Subsequent to Birth

Those pregnant mothers that continued smoking are more likely to give birth to a baby who could face marring side effects like lowered lung capacity, experiencing withdrawal symptoms and greater probability of SIDS or sudden infant death syndrome. Such babies are often increasingly jittery and agitated that makes it a tough task to pacify them. Moreover, SIDS, the unpredicted death of an apparently healthy child while asleep is three times more likely in case a pregnant woman indulged in smoking.


Those women, who believe that their unborn child could merely be affected by their direct smoking, are wrong. Second hand smoke could have potential damaging effects on the foetus – one of which being a 20% greater likelihood of delivering an underweight baby.

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