5 Complications of Smoking during Pregnancy
Most people understand that smoking is bad for them. Nevertheless, a number of women do not know that smoking is also bad during pregnancy. There are many justifications not to smoke during pregnancy here are five:
1. Women who smoke have higher chance of miscarriage.
Smokers have a 40% greater chance of miscarriage. The risk increases with the number of cigarettes smoked per day. We do not understand the mechanism of miscarriage. However, one theory explains that the harmful chemicals that compose cigarette smoke can cause genetic damages in the fetus and trigger a miscarriage. Aside from this, smoking can also change the uterus lining, making it hard for the fertilized egg to grow and develop.
2. Smoking increases the chance of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)
According to research, babies born to mothers who smoke have a higher risk of dying due to SIDS. SIDS is the sudden and unexplained death of an infant that remains unexplained after a thorough and detailed investigation. In 2010, approximately 22,000 infants around the globe died due to SIDS.
3. Women who smoke have an increased risk of complications during labor.
Complications during labor include bleeding, severe pain during labor, untimely detachment of the placenta, premature membrane ruptures (breaking of the water), and premature labor. The preemies, not yet fully developed, are at an increased risk of suffering severe illnesses, or death.
In the United States alone, there are more than 800, 000 women who smoke during pregnancy.
4. Smokers are more likely to deliver undersized, premature babies
There is a strong relationship between smoking and birth weight. In other words, women who smoke deliver smaller babies as compared to those who do not smoke. As the number of cigarettes a day increases, the smaller the baby’s expected birth weight. Undersized (small for gestational age – SGA) babies are predisposed to physical and developmental delays.
5. Women who smoke may suffer from ectopic pregnancy
An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg implants outside the uterus. Ectopic pregnancies usually occur in the fallopian tube. Ectopic pregnancy can also occur near the ovary, in the abdomen, or in the cervix. An ectopic pregnancy is a medical emergency. It is potentially dangerous for the mother and can lead to her death.
Babies born to women who smoke are generally unhealthy. These babies have weaker immune systems and are at risk of developing life-threatening infections. Respiratory disease, such as asthma and bronchitis, are also common in these children.
These babies are also at an increased risk of developing mental problems, becoming slow learners, mentally retarded, and developing behavioral disorders compared to non-smokers.