Smoking during pregnancy

There are a lot of articles about the dangers of smoking. Moreover, there are warnings on cigarette packs in many countries that smoking harms your health. In addition to the inscriptions on the packs sometimes there are pictures of possible consequences too. Everyone knows about the dangers of smoking, but a lot of people still don’t give up this habit.

Some women don’t quit smoking even after they find out that they are pregnant. There is a myth that if a woman smoked before pregnancy, she should not quit smoking, as it will be a great stress for her body and will do harm to the baby. But we must understand that every cigarette smoked by a pregnant mother is very dangerous for an embryo.


During smoking the fetus receives the same concentration of harmful substances as the mother. But the size of an embryo is several times smaller than that of an adult. Therefore, cigarette poison has a negative impact on the baby much faster and stronger than on its mother.

One smoked cigarette contains more than two thousand harmful microelements that enter the body of a woman and her future baby. These ones are the most dangerous:

  • tar;
  • nicotine;
  • benzapyrene;
  • carbon monoxide.

Each of these chemicals and some other ones have a negative effect on various organs of the human body. For the embryo, the consequences may be following:

  • as the cigarette smoke comes into the mother’s womb, there is a big threat that the respiratory tract of the baby will form as malfunctioning;
  • oxygen supply decreases, that leads to a delay in the normal development of all organs of the embryo;
  • nicotine increases heart rate;
  • the risk of premature birth increases;
  • children are born weak, with significant deviations in height and weight;
  • the probability of a stillbirth is increased in the final months of the pregnancy, and at earlier stages there is a risk of miscarriage.

One of the most dangerous substances that can affect a child's future is nicotine. This substance has a strong effect on human nervous system. Deviations may not appear immediately. But according to statistical data, such children often begin to suffer from distracted attention and bad sleep. These children have much worse memory. They are too active, agitated or vice versa, very slow.

The content of nicotine and tar is indicated on each pack of cigarettes. But changing one brand of cigarettes to another with less nicotine and tar will not reduce the harm caused to the baby by smoking.

Nicotine affects the nervous system of the pregnant woman herself too. Some of the consequences may be excess irritability of the girl, bad sleep, weakness. The developing of toxicosis is possible during late pregnancy.

During childbirth, shortness of breath may occur, which will prevent a woman from concentrating on proper actions during childbirth. This can lead to birth injuries of the newborn baby.

To preserve the health of her future baby, a woman should quit smoking immediately, as she becomes aware that she is pregnant. It’s better to do this even before pregnancy, so that her body can fully recover. But if the pregnancy was unplanned, the expectant mother should protect the baby from the impact of cigarettes completely.

This applies to second-hand smoke too. Being near to someone smoking, as well as somewhere where you can smell tobacco, also has a negative effect on the human body.

Doctors recommend that pregnant women quit smoking gradually, reducing the daily number of cigarettes. In the early stages of pregnancy, the nervous system of the embryo is formed. And it is at this point that cigarettes can have a strong negative impact on the baby's psyche. Therefore, the earlier a woman is able to give up this bad habit, the less harm it will do to her baby.

In the second trimester, cigarettes can have a significant effect on the formation of the brain and other organs of the embryo. There may be deviations in whole systems that could not be subject to treatment.

In the last months of pregnancy, lactation is beginning to form. Nicotine is able to accumulate in breasts’ tissue. Later it will poison the milk. After the birth, the baby will daily drink milk, poisoned with nicotine. The very first consequences will be cramps, diarrhea and sleep disturbance.

Many scientists annually conduct researches aimed to identify the cigarettes’ impact on babies’ health.

Thanks to analyzes, scientists from many countries came to the conclusion that children whose parents smoke have lower intellectual development than their peers.

Also, according to scientists, autism is directly related to the child's nervous system, since this disease leads to the fact that the child cannot be in contact with the world around, and it lives only in its own inner confined world. According to statistics, 40% of autistic children are born by moms who smoked during their pregnancy. Scientists blamed development of this disease to the lack of oxygen necessary for formation and development of embryo’s brain.

An international group of scientists found a link between children's tendency to deceive, as well as to crime to that their mothers had smoked during pregnancy. According to sociological surveys of detained criminals, the number of those whose mothers smoked exceeds almost 2 times.

Also, doctors and scientists together made a shocking discovery that birth of children with a cleft in the face is directly related to the smoking of their mother at 6-8 weeks of pregnancy. At this time the palate of the embryo is formed. Negative influences at this moment can lead to a formation of a cleft palate, a cleft lip and other facial defects.

American scientists have found a link between the development of clubfoot at children and smoking during pregnancy. Especially if there is a risk of inheriting clubfoot, then its likelihood increases by 20 times if the mother smokes.

Statistics also revealed the following data:

  • Children whose parents smoke, start smoking several times more often than children of non-smoking families;
  • Children whose parents smoke are more likely to be obese, and they can develop diabetes by the age of 16;
  • The concentration of spermatozoa in the male genitalia of a child is less by 20% if the mother smoked during pregnancy.

So the children whose parents smoke are much more likely to develop dangerous diseases from a small age. The risk of infertility also increases.

In practice, there are many cases that women during pregnancy smoke narcotic substances. Some people believe that marijuana and all its derivatives are not drugs, as they don’t cause any significant addiction.

But we must understand that marijuana has an abnormal effect on the human psyche, since a person gets specific emotions from smoking it. So any minor impact can cause significant harm to a person's mental health.

Smoking of pot during pregnancy has a strong effect on brain neurons of the embryo. At the same time, the work of the nervous system becomes slower. It can lead to serious inhibitions of mental abilities of the unborn baby.

When the baby is born, these inhibitions may cause:

  • inadequate estimation of real dangers for the baby;
  • disruption of the cerebellum, that leads to incorrect coordination of movements.

A child from a young age can be prone to serious falls, bruises, injuries.

When smoking marijuana during pregnancy, the following occurs:

  • Even at the stage of development, the embryo has problems with the proper development of the brain, which lead to such consequences as impaired memory, Down's syndrome or cerebral palsy;
  • Other organs and vital systems of baby's body develop incorrectly;
  • The embryo can’t withstand the burden and dies in the mother’s womb.

Also marijuana can cause addiction of the baby, which will affect the appearance of this harmful habit in the future.

Smoking is largely not so much a need of the body as a habit of the nervous system. In order to get rid of the habit, you need to change your usual way of life and force the smoking out of it.

Many mothers say that quitting during pregnancy is easier than in the normal state. This may be due to toxicosis in the first stages of pregnancy, when the future mother is sick of any unpleasant odors.

Also, sometimes the brain gives some hints that tell the future mother about her responsibility for the health of another human being.

To facilitate the process of giving up cigarettes, these instructions should be followed:

  1. Read a lot of information about the dangers of smoking during pregnancy.
  2. Read books that help smokers to abandon this habit.
  3. Abstain from your usual activities during which you had a habit to smoke. These situations may include drinking a cup of coffee with a cigarette on the balcony, going out to chat to the smoking room with your colleagues at work. It is necessary to replace these habits with new ones, not connected with the possibility of smoking.
  4. Include more hobbies in your schedule, activities will take your free time and the opportunity to think about smoking.
  5. Be sure to give up drinking alcohol, that can also provoke the desire to smoke.
  6. Walk more in the open air. Oxygen reduces the craving for nicotine.
  7. Sweets help to kill the desire for nicotine.
  8. You can improve your mood by reading positive books or watching movies about pregnancy.
  9. Attend courses and classes for pregnant women, they will help to focus your attention on your new position and the health of your baby.
  10. If you realize that you can no longer bear without nicotine, you can use a nicotine patch. It will calm down your body with the right dose of nicotine, while not harming the baby.

It is important to know that replacing a cigarette with an electronic one is not an option. The damage from this kind of smoking has already been proven and it will affect the baby too.

After giving up smoking, many people gain weight. This is a normal reaction of the body, and you don’t need to fear it. If you want to get rid of extra pounds quickly, it is better to add walks in the open air and proper nutrition into your lifestyle. A new way of life will rejuvenate the expectant mother and give health to her and her baby.

Please see: Online Pregnancy Test

Take a pregnancy test:

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