A healthy Mother can only give life to a healthy baby. As we all know that smoking kills, but if a pregnant woman smokes, it will have adverse effects on the baby too. Smoking puts both you and your unborn child at risk.
Cigarettes contain dangerous chemicals like nicotine (an addictive substance), carbon monoxide, tar, cyanide, lead and at least 60 cancer-causing compounds. By smoking, these poisonous substances are carried through your bloodstream and would affect your baby. Nicotine and Carbon Monoxide combine together and reduce supply of oxygen. This reduced oxygen supply can lead to the most serious complications like premature delivery, still birth, low birth weight etc.
You need not necessarily be a chain smoker; even light smoking severely affects your baby’s health. According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, both males and females who smoke are twice more likely to be infertile as compared to nonsmokers. Smoking during pregnancy affects baby’s heart, it reduces blood flow from heart to the lungs, and also increases chances of miscarriage and stillbirth. Heart ailments are 20 to 70 percent high in babies whose mothers smoke during their first trimester than those whose moms didn’t smoke. It can also develop respiratory problems. Children of mothers who smoked during pregnancy are likely to have learning disorders and low IQ level.
A smoker might feel that a cigarette puff could reduce pain or tension but she doesn’t realize the fact that this would increase the baby’s risk of birth defects and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome i.e. sudden unexplained death of kids less than one year of age.
A passively smoking pregnant woman who is frequently exposed to both, smoke from a burning cigarette and smoke exhaled by a smoker will have an increased chance of miscarriage, still birth, low birth weight baby and many other complications.
Recent Australian studies have revealed that women who smoke during their pregnancy are likely to give birth to boys with low sperm count, enough to cause damage while trying to have a baby.
It is advisable that smokers eat healthy and regularly work out to improve their health. Expecting mothers must take precautions and eat healthy, too.
At the same time, smoking does not come as good news for men who wish to have children as it drastically reduces their sperm count.