Avoiding smoking during pregnancy
The dangers of smoking during pregnancy
During pregnancy, your baby gets oxygen from your blood. When you smoke, your blood becomes infused with carbon monoxide and other dangerous substances contained in cigarettes. These substances can pass through the placental barrier and directly harm your baby. There are many potential consequences of smoking during pregnancy:
- Before you even get pregnant, smoking can affect your fertility: on average, smokers take longer to conceive – particularly if they are heavy smokers. IVF treatment is also less successful among smokers.
- Smokers are twice as likely as non-smokers to miscarry and the incidence of ectopic pregnancies is 3 times higher.
- Smoking results in a threefold increase in the risk of premature birth, and also increases the risk of delayed intrauterine growth. It can also result in foetal malformations and even some foetal deaths can be attributed to smoking.
- After birth, the risk of sudden infant death syndrome is greater if the moms smoked during pregnancy.
- Respiratory infections and asthma are more common among babies whose moms are smokers.
- The dangers of passive smoking are as great as those of low-level smoking. So avoid smoky places during pregnancy and always remember to ask people around you not to smoke in your presence.