Even in tiny amounts the presence of secondhand smoke nullifies all efforts of creating a healthy environment for the mother and her baby. A healthy environment is necessary for a healthy pregnancy. Proper diet and exercise are not enough to make sure that the mother and her child are safeguarded from possible risks and complications brought about by pregnancy.
Don’t Be Average
A typical house environment is already prone to harmful chemicals coming from the house itself, from the furniture, air freshener, appliances, and so on. If secondhand smoke is present in your environment then you’re feeding your child more toxic wastes and chemicals. If you expose yourself to cigarette smoke coming from other people, both you and your baby are suffering the consequences. This is the reason why pregnant women are highly discouraged to smoke and encouraged to stay away from people who smoke. If your partner or any member of your family smokes at home, you should tell them about your condition and how it can affect your child. As much as possible, you must stay away from these people.
CDC advise on Secondhand Smoke During Pregnancy
According to the Center for Disease Control, women who are regularly exposed to secondhand smoke are more likely to deliver babies with low birth weight. The risk is 20% higher than the risk to women who don’t smoke or don’t get exposed to passive smoking. Moms who are exposed to passive smoking run the risk of developing respiratory infections such as bronchitis which is dangerous in pregnancy since it can lead to pneumonia and death. Another risk associated to secondhand smoke is the poor development of the child’s immunity to fight diseases. Babies born by mothers who have been exposed to secondhand smoke have an increased chance of dying from SIDS or sudden infant death syndrome.
Effects of Secondhand Smoke on Mother and Child
These lethal effects of smoking to the unborn can be attributed to the toxin consumption of the baby. It is said that when a pregnant woman smokes, her baby smokes also. This is not a cliché or a catchy marketing phrase. This is absolutely true. Basically, everything the mother takes goes through the umbilical cord and into the placental region where the baby’s being developed. And even if the mother doesn’t smoke but she’s exposed to passive smoking, she takes in harmful chemicals that are passed along to the fetus.
The possible health side effects on babies exposed to passive smoking are actually higher than with babies whose mothers actively smoked during pregnant. So it is important that you make every effort to keep yourself in a healthy and smoke-free environment. Your pregnancy may call for so many dos and don’ts and ask that you religiously observe them. While it can be challenging to do so, there’s a great reward that is waiting in the end – a normal, risk-free delivery, of YOUR healthy baby!
photo credit: olga.palma