Smoking, Pregnancy And Effects On Child Health

Smoking, Pregnancy And Effects On Child Health

Smoking is injurious for your health. It can harm almost every internal part of your body. Inhaling is the major reason for various diseases such as Lung cancer, Heart attack, and Birth Defects, etc. It is responsible for approx five million deaths worldwide annually. Non-smokers also get affected, they breathe in your smoke secondhand and can get the same problems as any smoker faces. Children exposed to secondhand smoke have risks of cold, pneumonia, bronchitis, asthma, and ear infections. Mothers who inhale secondhand smoke can face difficulty while childbirth and their child can face health issues.

Harmful effects of smoking on pregnant women

  • Are you expecting a baby? Your smoking can be harmful to your health and can risk you in never becoming pregnant.
  • When you smoke in pregnancy your baby does too.
  • If you smoke while pregnant then it can cause damage to your unborn baby. It can also lead to miscarriage, as the chemicals can harm the unborn baby in your womb.
  • Mothers who smoke have to deliver their children earlier than the supposed delivery time. If you deliver your little one earlier, then that Preterm Delivery can cause the death of your baby. Preterm delivery includes problems such as:
  1. Anemia:

Anemia is when the number of red cells in the body gets too low. Red blood cells carry hemoglobin, a protein that carries oxygen throughout the year.

  1. Apnea:

When a baby stops breathing for a short time, the heart rate may lower and the skin may turn pale or blue.

  1. Bronchopulmonary dysplasia:

Your child is not born with BPD. It develops when premature infants with respiratory disease syndrome need help to breathe for an extended period, which may cause inflammation and scarring in the lungs.

  1. Hyperbilirubinemia:

When babies have high levels of bilirubin, which is produced by the normal breakdown of red blood cells. This leads to jaundice, a yellowing of the skin, and whites of the eyes.

  1. Necrotizing enterocolitis:

A serious disease of the intestines.

  1. Patent ductus arteriosus:

It is an extra blood vessel found in babies before birth and just after birth. It can cause extra blood to flow to the lungs.

  1. Retinopathy of prematurity:

Retinopathy of prematurity is an eye disease that may happen in preborn babies. It causes abnormal blood vessels to grow in the retina and can lead to blindness.

  1. Some infections can get from the mother before, during or after the birth of a child.
  2. Premature babies need special care after leaving the NICU.
  • A mother who doesn’t take proper nutrition in pregnancy will have a low weighing baby.
  • It can affect the way your baby grows. Gaining weight can make a baby to be born bigger than the average weighing child.
  • Smoking can affect the functioning of your child’s muscle tone, strength, and reflexes.
  • After you smoke a cigarette the fetal movement in your womb decreases for at least an hour.
  • Mothers who get exposed to secondhand smoke while pregnant can have a lower-weight baby.
  • The heart rate and blood pressure of the mother increases due to the effect of the nicotine.
  • Blood clot – smoking affects the lining of blood vessels which can cause blood clots to form and you will have to get a c-section surgery. In this type of surgery, the baby is born through a cut that your doctor makes in your belly and uterus.
  • Vaginal Bleeding – In the early stage of pregnancy vaginal bleeding is the sign of many complications like ectopic pregnancy, miscarriages, molar pregnancy. It can also cause severe cramps, abdominal pain, and pelvic pain.
  • Urinary Tract Infections
  • The Premature rupture of the brain can cause infection.
  • The energy level of a mother gets decreased and they will be unable to cope up with pregnancy.
  • More smoking throughout the pregnancy has greater risks of harm to the fetus.
  • The smoke of cigarettes contains chemicals like cyanide, lead, and cancer-causing products.
  • When an expectant mother smokes those chemicals that toxic brew gets into your bloodstream that is the source of baby’s oxygen and nutrients.
  • There are two especially harmful chemicals Nicotine and Carbon monoxide.
  • Nicotine chokes off the oxygen of the mother by narrowing the blood vessels throughout her body including the umbilical cord. That is like forcing her baby to breathe through a thin pipe.
  • The situation gets worse when the red blood cells that carry oxygen start to pick up molecules of carbon monoxide. Then that thin pipe becomes incapable of sending as much oxygen as it should.
  • Your smoking affects breastfeeding. You can face earlier weening, lower milk production, interface with milk let-down reflex, lower level of prolactin. The hormone prolactin must be present for milk synthesis to occur.
  • The situation gets worse when the red blood cells that carry oxygen start to pick up molecules of carbon monoxide. Then that thin pipe becomes incapable of sending as much oxygen as it should.

The effects of smoking on your Child Health

  • Your baby will have weak health due to your smoking.
  • Smoking during pregnancy can cause psychological problems in childhood.
  • A baby who is born early misses the phase of important growth that happens in the womb during the last weeks or months of pregnancy.
  • Such babies have weaker lungs than other babies which increases the risk to their health.
  • They can get coughs, wheezing, heavy phlegm, and breathlessness at an early age.
  • Premature babies can have Birth Defects like:
  1. Low weight on birth
  2. You can have difficulty in feeding.
  3. The child can right away face breathing problems.
  4. They can get brain damage that causes trouble with movement and muscle tone.
  5. Problems with eyesight and hearing.
  6. They may need surgery to get ear tubes for drainage.
  7. Defects in the cardiovascular system, digestive system, musculoskeletal stem, and face and neck system.
  8. Smoking by the mother may cause a 10% relative increase in congenital heart defects on average.
  • If you smoke near a pregnant woman or a born child it can also harm the child.
  • A child who gets exposed to secondhand smoke or if their mother smoked while pregnant then they can die from Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). This disease is unexplained sudden mortality of the baby. After birth infants who are exposed to tobacco smoke are prone to SIDS.
  • The chemicals involved can damage the brain and also interfere with proper respiration. Infants usually die due to the greater nicotine and cotinine concentrations in their lungs. The chances of facing this problem can also arise after a few years of a child’s birth.
  • If you smoke and breastfeed your baby, the baby can show symptoms as nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea.
  • Your child will have to take hospital visits more times from respiratory infection or allergy-related problems.
  • A child who is exposed to regular smoke inside the home has lower levels of HDL.

Quit smoking for your own good:

If you think you can change the brand of tobacco for better health instead of quitting it, you are at fault here. Safe tobacco cannot be found anywhere around the world. quitting smoking can reduce your risk of health. If you are going to be parents and still choose to smoke then you should stop smoking before your health goes out of your hand. It can affect you and the health of your little bubble of happiness. You won’t want this upcoming happiness to turn into sorrow. Stop smoking altogether for a better future and health for you and your child.

How can you stop smoking completely?

  • First of all, choose a quit if you are planning a pregnancy.
  • If you are already pregnant, try to stop smoking right away.
  • If you are unable to quit, try to cut down the number of cigarettes you smoke a day.
  • Get rid of your ashtray, lighters, and cigarettes. Clean your house and clothes thoroughly to get away with the smell of smoke completely.
  • If your better half-smokes, discuss the matter of quitting together.
  • If someone in your family smokes, try talking to them about quitting.
  • If it is not possible to get them to quit, then ask them not to smoke around you.
  • Make a plan on how you will control your cravings for smoke.
  • Change your routine and avoid those things that make you reach for a cigarette.
  • You can easily get an ONLINE PRESCRIPTION available for you that will help in this. You can take initial help from there.
  • You can also consult your doctor for a better opinion on what to do to quit smoking.
  • Ask help from people who used to smoke.
  • Vitamin C supplements are given to female smokers in their gestation period, to neutralize the negative impacts on the infant’s pulmonary function. Apart from this discontinuation of smoking will be effective in safeguarding both the baby and pregnant women during this period.
  • If you don’t stop smoking then you will make your child suffer and cause them several diseases. They can have breathing problems, physical muscle defects, eye defects, diabetes, hearing defects.
  • Your risk of having a low-weight baby decreases if you quit smoking.
  • Your baby can avoid breathing problems or asthma if you decide to quit smoking and enjoy a carefree life without any worry of health issues.
  • If you like to stay away from all such problems, stay away from smoking and keep yourself and your baby’s life safe and secure.

Also Read-  Redness on Eyelid of Infant: Cause And Treatment


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