Understanding the effects of smoking helps
Finding out you are pregnant is a wonderful source of motivation to give up smoking. But for some, actually doing so is still difficult and some women reach their due date without having been able to free themselves from this dependency. Partly, this is because the damaging effects of tobacco remain unclear.
The placenta cannot filter out everything: when pregnant, the baby receives oxygen from its mother’s blood. Tobacco causes the blood to be filled with harmful substances. As the placental barrier cannot filter everything out, these substances reach the fetus through the umbilical cord. Additionally, because tobacco has the effect of narrowing the blood vessels, the oxygen to the baby is also limited.
A number of consequences: it is clear today that smoking causes a delay in in-uterine growth, resulting in lower birth weight, smaller size and cranial perimeter, as well as retarded lung formation. Breathing problems are also more common in smokers’ babies, and the risk of premature birth is also three times higher. It is better not to ignore the fact, smoking also increases the risk of fetal malformation, miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy. Understanding the harmful effects of smoking is not enough, it is often useful to use an appropriate method to help.