At least 11% of women smoke during pregnancy. Many of these women smoke without knowing the significant negative effects smoking has on their babies before, during, and after the pregnancy. When a woman smokes during pregnancy, she exposes her baby to dangerous chemicals such as tar, carbon monoxide, nicotine, and other poisonous chemicals that travels through the bloodstream and goes directly to the baby. Nicotine restricts the oxygen through the blood vessels throughout the body, including those leading to the umbilical cord. There are more than 4,000 chemicals in cigarettes. Among these chemicals, there are life-threatening issues that can happen while smoking during a woman’s pregnancy and after the babies are born. Smoking while pregnant has many lasting effects on the mother as well as the child? On average, a smoker who smokes a pack a day will reduce about half a pound of baby weight. Stunning a baby’s growth while in the womb can have negative consequences that last a lifetime.
With a baby being underweight at the time of birth could mean the baby’s lungs have not fully developed which would lead to their first few days or weeks of life on a respirator to help the baby breath. However, after the baby has the ability to breathe their still susceptible to asthma. The combined effect of premature delivery and low birth rate has shown ten percent of these babies suffer from Infant Respiratory Distress Syndrome.
Infant Respiratory Distress Syndrome is when their lungs have not developed a normal surface tact coating and the air sacs collapse. One of the most serious effects and risks of smoking while pregnant is ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy is an abnormal pregnancy that occurs outside of the uterus. In all cases the baby will not live if this occurs there are not enough nutrients for a fetus to survive anywhere besides the womb.
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