Women who smoke while they were pregnant, as well as those who were exposed to cigarette smoke, are more likely to deliver unhealthy babies. A large body of research has shown this in many different ways.
Not smoking, alone, is not enough to ensure that your baby goes out of your womb safe and healthy. Pregnancy is a very crucial stage that necessitates extreme care and attention. Women who are pregnant should, as much as possible, avoid being exposed to any chemical or toxic compound that they may inhale or ingest. These include tobacco smoke.
Even if it is still in the mother’s womb, the baby may get affected by cigarette smoke in so many ways. Even if you don’t smoke, if you are always exposed to it, your baby remains at risk of suffering different kinds of disease.
Here are the top consequences of passive smoking on baby’s health:
1. Poor lung function
Babies who have been exposed to the chemicals in tobacco are more likely to have underdeveloped respiratory systems. As a consequence, they suffer from weak lungs and are at high risk of asthma, bronchitis, and pneumonia.
2. Childhood cancer
Cancer triumphs on a body that has a weak immune system. One of the greatest dangers of passive smoking is cancer which can take place in childhood. Babies born by moms who smoked or those who have been exposed to second-hand smoke are at risk of leukemia and other types of cancer.
Smoking moms are more likely to deliver underweight babies. The toxins from tobacco block the placental tubes, preventing the nutrients and oxygen from reaching the baby. As a result, the child is not properly nourished. Underweight babies usually suffer from various health problems including infection and feeding problems.
4. Learning and behavioral problems
This is one of the worst effects of smoking to the child’s health as it can carry on until adulthood. The toxins from tobacco prevents the child’s brain from developing to its full capacity, thus, there is always a risk of mental health issue. Studies found that children who were exposed to cigarette smoke during the prenatal period are more likely to develop attention deficit disorder, hyperactivity, and other cognitive illnesses.
5. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
SIDS continues to be a mystery for researchers and scientists. However, several studies have shown that babies who were exposed to cigarette smoke are more at risk of SIDS than those who were not.
The Dangers of Third-hand Smoke to Baby’s Health
A growing body of research suggests that third-hand smoke, which refers to the tobacco residue left on surfaces and in the environment, has severe health effects on baby’s health as well. It was found that nicotine residue left on curtains, chairs, walls and other surfaces can interact with other chemicals in the air and form a more potent carcinogenic compound. Observing 100% smoke-free environment during and after pregnancy is essential in protecting children from developing serious forms of disease.