Smoking During Pregnancy – A Puff Too Far
Everyone has their own view on whether a woman should smoke when she is trying to get pregnant or while she is pregnant. We can sit and judge as much as we like but at the end of the day it is down to the personal preference of the woman as to whether she wants to give up smoking or not. All we should really ask is that every woman has all the information on smoking while pregnant so that they can make an informed decision.
In this day and age it is fair to say that we all know the possible risks of smoking whether pregnant or not. It is not like in our parent’s day when the affects of smoking were not fully known. We all have a fair idea that if smoking is not good for us, then it is highly unlikely to be good for our unborn child.
Firstly, if you are trying to get pregnant then you should know that smoking actually decreases your chances of being able to conceive. The fertility levels are made lower and this can even be true of couples looking to conceive through IVF treatment. And it does not matter whether you do not smoke but your partner does. Semen levels can be very low in men who smoke compared to those who don’t. And of course, this contributes to the problems of being able to conceive.
Okay, let’s get to the nitty-gritty. You have gotten pregnant and are wondering about what effects your smoking has on your baby. Well, it pays to remember first off, that whatever you put into your body is transferred to your baby through the placenta. The toxins and nasty stuff in cigarettes are passed on to your baby and can even decrease the function of the placenta itself. Oxygen levels in the blood can also be affected and this can mean that the baby has to work harder to breathe – which means that the heart rate will be increased immensely.
If that is not scary enough, then there are other affects that you should know about. Children who are born to smokers may be born prematurely and weigh less than those babies who are born to parents who do not smoke. Their lungs may find it harder to function and their organs may be smaller than that of a non-smoker’s baby. You may also find that they suffer from illnesses much more often in their early life.
Time to Quit
Anyone who has ever smoked knows that it is no mean feat to be able to give up. You may read this and want to give up for the sake of your child but it can be a hard task. Use the support that is available to you to help you stop smoking. It will take a bit of time but with encouragement and determination you can stop smoking and increase your chances of having a perfectly healthy and happy baby.