First Trimester

4 Dangers of Smoking During Pregnancy

4 Dangers of Smoking During Pregnancy
Published : August 21 , 2017
Latest Update : May 21 , 2022
Dr. Rami Kilani is an Obstetrician and Gynecologist who holds the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology as well as the membership... more

Smoking tobacco is harmful to everyone. But, smoking during pregnancy is even more harmful as it affects both the mother and the unborn child, increasing the risks of various irreversible complications. Smoking tobacco in any form, cigarettes, cigars and even hookah, is equally bad for pregnant women Cigarette contains more than 4000 chemicals including toxic chemicals like cyanide and lead which pass through the blood stream to the unborn baby.  

The main adverse effects of smoking are:

  1. Oxygen Restriction:

Every time you smoke a cigarette your baby’s heart has to beat harder. Some studies suggest that those babies are at a higher risk for structural congenital heart defects. Babies of mothers who smoke are more likely to be smaller in weight (200g lighter) in comparison with average babies of mothers who do not smoke, all because of the oxygen restriction which has a lifelong negative effect on the baby.

  1. Premature Birth:

Babies of mothers who smoke are also more likely to be born prematurely which means that they are more likely to need Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) admission, they will also need help with breathing and feeding after birth.

  1. Serious Health Issues:

Babies of mothers who smoke are more likely to develop serious illnesses like asthma.

  1. Still Birth:

The most dangerous effect of smoking is still birth and intrauterine fetal death. Studies have shown that smoking is associated with a higher risk of death not only during pregnancy but also for the first 6 months of life.  

Keep in mind that even smoking one cigarette a day has its hazards. There is no big of a difference between smoking one cigarette and smoking 4-5 a day; the first cigarette of the day has the worst effect. If you are a heavy smoker cutting down to 3-4 cigarette a day is better than not cutting down.

Second-hand smoking is also dangerous and can cause a similar effect to first-hand smoking try as much as possible to avoid second-hand smoking during pregnancy. Therefore, pregnancy is a great chance to quit smoking forever. You will be doing it not only for the baby but for yourself as well. It is not easy but doable, thousands of women quit smoking every year. The earlier you quit the better, and even if you are in your third trimester quitting smoking will have its great benefit for your health and the health of your baby. When you stop smoking damaging gases and carbon monoxide will start clearing from your body immediately. There are many people who can help you stop smoking please talk to your doctor who can assist you.  

*This article is published in collaboration with Little Volunteer Initiative and Tobacco Free Jordan


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