Cigarette smoke contains more than 4,000 nasty chemicals including 60 cancer causing compounds that damage a smoker's body and brain. Beside a smoker does not only harm him / herself but he / she harms people around who find themselves obliged to inhale second hand smoke while they are staying near a smoker. Passive smokers had cooked for their rights of breathing pure air in public and especially closed areas. They won the battle and many laws have banned smoking in public areas in most countries around the world. However, there's no law forbidding smoking during pregnancy, a period during which the fetus is totally dependent on his mother's food and oxygen supplies. Therefore it's of a major importance that pregnant smokers think about what risks their future babies may run if they carried on smoking during pregnancy.
What pregnant smokers may cause to their future babies?
Nicotine and carbon monoxide are two cigarette components that may reduce the baby's supply of oxygen while the pregnant mother is smoking. In fact carbon monoxide gets into the pregnant's bloodstream and replays some of the oxygen in her blood. Therefore the fetus may not get the necessary oxygen to its healthy growth and development.
Smoking during pregnancy also doubles the occasions that a baby will be born prematurely, sometimes two to three months earlier than normal babies, or with a low weight usually less than 2 kg at birth. A smoking mother also doubles the risk of stillbirth to her baby: the fetus might die inside the mother's womb since its heart has to beat harder each time the mother smokes and restricts its oxygen supplies.
Every cigarette a pregnant mother enjoys smoking increases the risk of miscarriage. A pregnant smoker's fetus tends to have an underdeveloped body. Its lungs may not be ready to work on their own at birth which obliges the newly born baby to spend its first days or even weeks attached to a respirator.
Later, pregnant smokers' babies may have continuing breathing problems and be especially vulnerable to asthma and have double or even triple the risk of sudden death.
Smoking during pregnancy can have lifelong effects on the baby's brain too. Children of pregnant smokers may also have frequent ear and chest infections, learning disorders, behavioral problems and risk to become addicted to cigarettes when they grow up.
Being a passive pregnant smoker especially when the father smokes continuously at home may make the future baby run the same risks. Before planning to have a baby smoking parents have to think about how each cigarette may affect their future baby.