Second Hand Smoking And Pregnancy – A Dangerous Combination
Second hand smoking and pregnancy is not only dangerous to your health, but to that of your unborn child. Research shows that the risk to your child is almost as great as if you were the smoker. This can be disconcerting news when it seems people are smoking all around you.
By inhaling the smoke from a burning cigarette, you are taking the harmful chemicals into your body in the same way that a smoker would without the benefit of the filter. Non-smoking moms who have had prolonged exposure to second hand smoke have been shown to have these chemicals in their system. Nicotine, tar and carbon monoxide are then passed to the baby through the placenta, thus exposing the fetus to their harmful effects.
With second hand smoking and pregnancy, the risks to the baby are the same as they are for smokers. Improper lung development, low birth weight, and increased risk of miscarriage are the common concerns. Additionally, there is some evidence to suggest that exposure to second hand smoke while in utero can increase the risk of some forms of childhood cancers.
Sudden infant death syndrome is also attributed to an unborn baby’s exposure to cigarette smoke. This tragic and completely unexpected loss of a child is not only emotionally devastating for new parents, but often leaves them confused and wondering how and why.
If you are expecting, avoid second hand smoking and pregnancy health risks. This might seem impossible but it can be done if you are diligent.
- When eating out, choose restaurants that don’t allow smoking. Although most restaurants no longer allow it, those that act as a bar or club in addition to serving food will often permit their patrons to light up.
- Keep your home smoke free to prevent the dangerous second hand smoking and pregnancy combination. Let guests know up front that smoking is not allowed in your house or on your property. Don’t be afraid to stand your ground or worry about offending anyone. Your baby’s health is at issue and you want to give him or her a healthy start in life.
- Make sure that your friends and family know the risks of second hand smoking and pregnancy. When provided with this information, they are more likely to support you in your efforts to maintain a smoke free environment for you and your baby.
- If you do have smokers in your family or circle of friends, encourage them to quit for their own health as well as those around them. Be supportive without being condescending so that they might be more receptive to kicking the habit.
Second hand smoking and pregnancy is a dangerous combination. By being diligent throughout your pregnancy, you are insuring the best possible start for your child.