How Smoking During Pregnancy Affects Your Baby
How smoking during pregnancy affects your baby is something that all pregnant smokers should be aware of. With every puff you take, you are sharing the cigarette with its 4000 harmful chemicals with your unborn child. Most women would be horrified at the thought of teaching a baby to smoke, but have no issue with lighting up while pregnant.
The truth is that how smoking during pregnancy affects your baby is no different than if you gave your baby a cigarette after they are born. They are being exposed to the tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide that you are taking into your system. These chemicals are passed through the placenta directly to the baby.
With the exposure of these harmful chemicals, you are limiting the amount of oxygen that your baby gets. Oxygen is vital to the healthy development of a growing fetus. Without the necessary oxygen, it is more likely that your baby will be born with improperly developed lungs. This often requires the administration of oxygen and close monitoring after birth.
How smoking during pregnancy affects your baby is by disrupting the normal development process. There are many complex biological changes taking place. The introduction of carcinogens through direct or indirect exposure wreaks havoc with these processes, causing the development of your baby to go off track. This results in physical and developmental problems that often leave the child at a disadvantage after birth. Parents of these children often find that the special needs of the child require a large financial and emotional commitment.
Gestation of any living being is a complex and precarious creation, with each stage of development requiring specific things to take place. There is ongoing research on how smoking during pregnancy affects your baby, and it is believed that there are many other possible physical and behavioral conditions that are caused by smoking while pregnant.
With smoking being the leading cause of many types of cancer, your child could actually develop cancer before he or she is born. Further study is needed to confirm what doctors already suspect, that smoking during pregnancy can cause a baby to develop cancer in utero.
Whether you smoke one cigarette a day or a pack a day, how smoking during pregnancy affects your baby should always be in the front of your mind. With new findings every day, pregnant women would do best to do whatever it takes to stop smoking before and after the baby is born. Research shows that if you quit within the first trimester you are limiting the potential damage to your unborn child. By quitting as soon as possible, you are minimizing the health risks to you and your baby.