We all know that smoking is bad for you, but add pregnancy in the mix and you have double trouble. Pun intended. There is a new study done that confirms this known fact.
It has to be said that addiction blinds people. I have a coworker that swears her health is the same when smoking as when she is not. This she says even though we have long-standing evidence that links cigarette smoking directly to all kinds of illnesses like increased risk of heart disease, strokes and lung cancer. But there’s a new report, drafted by the University College of London, where researchers have compiled and compared studies from as far back as 50 years ago with the sole purpose to document all complications of pregnant smokers. There were thousands of cases reviewed from this time period. A lot of what was found was expected, for example, babies born with cleft lips or palates, congenital heart disease, still births or prematurity due to smoking moms. Further, nicotine was found to be directly linked to limb deformities, clubfoot, gastrointestinal problems and optical disorders.
Some may feel that since they do not smoke that their baby is safe. Not necessarily. Do you live with a smoker or work with one? Secondhand smoke is dangerous as well. Just ask the scientists at the University of Nottingham who discovered that you increased your baby’s risk of stillbirth by 23 percent when inhaling secondhand smoke.
Ever heard of thirdhand smoke? No? Me either, until I read the March of Dimes website regarding how thirdhand smoke is hazardous to small babies as well. This is the type of smoke that lingers on clothing, ashtrays, couches and in cars. Since this residue is toxic – containing lead, arsenic and carbon monoxide – babies can breathe it in and over time develop asthma, a number of breathing disorders, learning disorders and even cancer.
Do you want to have a baby? Are you having a difficult time getting pregnant? If you are a smoker, chances are you are seriously decreasing the likelihood of this happening. Especially is this true with a heightened risk of ectopic pregnancy, vaginal bleeding or even problems with the placenta itself, as reported by Healthland.time.com. What was even more interesting about this study was the following fact: women who are smokers – particularly heavy smokers – have more of a likelihood of raising a jailbird.
This information is not meant to scare anyone to extreme degrees. Try to do what you reasonably can to protect your baby from these toxins – much like you would any other poison. And if you do smoke, quit, especially if you are thinking about or already are pregnant. It is an addiction, but isn’t your baby worth it?
Alcohol and Drugs - Smoking During Pregnancy
March of Dimes
A New Study Details the Effects of Smoking in Pregnancy
Reviewed July 21, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg R.N.
Edited by Jody Smith
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