How Smoking Affects Life of the Unborn

There are plenty of evidences that smoking can be bad for your health. Majority of the chemicals found in cigarette smoke are toxic. Each year, there are over 3,000 people who die from passive smoking alone. On a larger scale, millions of people all over the world die because of cigarette smoking. If you are pregnant or you’re planning to have a child, you should take this opportunity to quit smoking. This way, you can prevent any possible effects of smoking to your child.

How smoking affects the life of the unborn has been the focus of many studies for the past years. While there’s still a lack of scientific evidences that measure how much exactly is the effect of smoking to the baby, experts have pointed out several scenarios that may happen to the unborn children whenever their mothers smoke. These include physical defects, underdeveloped organs, and a wide variety of illnesses that can sometimes result to infant death.

Low Birth Weight
According to research, one pack of cigarettes can reduce your baby’s weight by half a pound. Just imagine how much will your child weigh if you smoke an average of 20 cigarettes (one pack) a day all through your pregnancy. The reason behind the low birth weight is the insufficiency of oxygen, nutrients, and minerals that the unborn needs to survive. Every time you smoke, a large amount of nicotine is carried by your blood to all parts of your body including the umbilical cord, the tube that is connected to your child. The umbilical cord serves as the life support of the baby. It’s like a dextrose that carries the oxygen and nutrients to the child. But when you smoke, nicotine creates a spasm on your umbilical cord, making it hard for the blood to enter the placenta. This condition leads to the deprivation of the food and oxygen to the unborn. Babies who are born with weight less than 5.5lbs are considered at low birth weight.

Increased Chance of Cancer and Tumors

In an in-depth report made by Daily Mail, it was revealed that active smoking can increase the possibility of the unborn having cancer or tumors later in life. The harmful chemicals found in tobacco can adversely affect cell growth and may cause cell mutations and cell abnormalities. As this happens, the unborn becomes susceptible to any kind of cancer. In a study made by a group of researchers from the University of Pittsburgh, it was found that the cell mutation that is caused by cigarette smoke creates oncogene – a gene that actually transforms healthy cells to cancerous tumors. According to the research head Dr Stephen Grant, the occurrence of oncogene doesn’t just happen with active smoking but with passive smoking as well.

Vascular Disease
Infants that are born by women who smoke have an increased chance of developing heart diseases and related complications. Nicotine, tar, carbon monoxide, and all other chemicals that are brought by the cigarette smoke can cause huge damage on the placenta, causing it to separate from the uterus lining. This condition will make it much harder for the mother to transport oxygen and food to her baby. Many studies found that smoking makes the placenta look much older than it normally would. This causes great distress to the unborn which leads to heart problems. The mother may also experience vaginal bleeding, premature birth, and some other complications.

It’s not too late to Quit!
If you’re a smoker and you’re carrying a child inside your womb at this very moment, it’s never too late to quit. Hope this information will make you understand how important it is to get the monkey off your back. When you feel like you can’t quit smoking, just think of your child. For sure, he or she doesn’t want to smoke this early. Every unborn child is gifted with the instinct of survival. They may not have the intelligence yet to determine which is wrong from right. But they definitely know one thing – they want to live. Just like you.



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