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How to Quit Smoking During Early Pregnancy

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Smoke during pregnancy is extremely dangerous. Nicotine can permanently damage a baby's brain, can deform the baby and can cause lung cancer to the mother. Find out all the complications involved with smoking, know ways to quit smoking and learn the health benefits of quitting smoking during pregnancy.

One of the best ways to give your child a healthy start in life is by protecting your child from tobacco smoke. Tobacco smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, of which at least 250 harmful chemicals are present in tobacco smoke and 69 other chemicals that can cause cancer. They contain hydrogen cyanide, carbon monoxide and ammonia all of which are extremely harmful for body.

Quitting smoking is one of the hardest things, but it can be done with strong motivation & determination, as there are many valid reasons. Smoking during pregnancy affects baby's health, chemicals present in a cigarette alter the neurotransmitters in the brain and reduce the presence of oxygen in the body of a baby, eventually, and it leads to an unhealthy birth. The baby might suffer from neurological conditions during the early childhood. A famous research study has shown that, mother who smoke during pregnancy are likely to give birth to babies with lower weight. A fetus in womb requires good blood flow to develop properly. This is directly linked to smoking, because the enzymes, which produce nitric oxide, to maintain healthy blood flow, are low in smokers. No mother wants her baby to suffer because of her actions; a woman can stop this by adopting healthy habits and it is never too late to quit.

How Does Smoking Affect Your Pregnancy?

Smoking during pregnancy can cause serious health complications because smoke exposes mother and your baby to many harmful chemicals. Smoke limits baby's supply of oxygen and nutrients. Smoking during pregnancy has also been linked with many health problems, which can include the following:

  • Problems with the placenta (an organ that connects the developing fetus to the uterine wall)
  • Reduction in birth weight

reduction in birth weight

  • Preterm premature rupture of the membranes — when the amniotic sac leaks or breaks before week 37 of pregnancy
  • Premature birth of the baby
  • Birth defects
  • Miscarriage and stillbirth

Smoking during pregnancy can also affect a baby after he/she is born increasing the risk of:

  • Colic (severe pain in the abdomen)
  • Asthma
  • Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
  • Childhood obesity
  • Frequent illness if baby/ child is exposed to smoke after birth

How Does Secondhand Smoke Affect Pregnancy?

Exposure to secondhand smoke during pregnancy can also affect you and your baby's health, both before and after birth. It becomes more difficult to stop if someone around you smokes. There is no safe level of exposure for secondhand smoke; it has more than 7000 chemicals including at least seventy that can cause cancer. Secondhand smoke can also cause mental and emotional changes. Babies whose parents smoke are more likely to suffer from bronchitis and pneumonia during their first year.

secondhand smoke affect pregnancy

Some of the common risk associated with second-hand smoke is:

  • Ear infection
  • Birth defects
  • SIDS
  • Pregnancy loss
  • Low birth weight
  • Birth defect
  • Asthma attacks
  • Ear infections

Cigarettes in Pregnancy

E-cigarettes are comparatively less harmful to a baby if there is an alternative option to smoking tobacco like e- cigarettes. In e- cigarettes, nicotine is inhaled through vapors rather than smoke.

e-cigarettes

Smoking e-cigarettes during pregnancy can cause serious damage to the face and oral cavity of baby. E-cigarettes usually contain nicotine, water and propylene glycol, they can also contain other hidden toxins.

Nicotine narrows blood vessels, allowing lesser oxygen and fewer nutrients to reach to baby via placenta. A hit of nicotine goes straight into lungs, which is quickly absorbed by bloodstream. Even if the ingredients are labeled, you cannot be sure which other toxins you are breathing are reaching to your unborn baby.

Some e-cigarette do not produce tar and carbon monoxide, two of the main toxins present in cigarette smoke. Vapors from an e-cigarette do contain, at much lower levels, some of the potentially harmful chemicals found in cigarette smoke.

E-cigarettes are new and current evidence on e-cigarettes shows that they are much less risky than smoking. If it is very difficult to quit smoking cigarette, using an e-cigarette can be a little safer for you and your baby than continuing to smoke.

Tips to Quit Smoking

However, there is no denying it, quitting smoking is hard, and one has to admit that one is addicted to smoking. Here are some of the simple steps you can follow in order to quit smoking while you are pregnant:

  • Once you admit that you are addicted you can seek help from your gynecologist, they will support you to quit, and prescribe you appropriate replacement drug. Which will help you in nicotine withdrawal; prefer yoga or meditation to calm your mind.
  • Tell closed ones that you have quit smoking, by doing that you will get support from them and plenty of appreciation to keep going.
  • Follow some tactics when you have a strong craving. Try this method, crush two to three cigarettes in a bowl and pour some hot water. Now, smell it and imagine how bad this thing will do to you and your kid.
  • There is also an easy way to occupy you with something. You can seek professional help. Acupuncture and hypnosis are drug free and safe methods to quit smoking.
  • Gradually stop cigarettes, cut back your cigarette consumption until you completely come down to zero. Drink enough water, it will detox your body from harmful chemicals or you can substitute it with a fruit juice of your choice.
  • Try not to keep cigarettes instead keep chewing gums with you, chewing gums keep your mouth busy and you forget about smoking.

Benefits of stopping smoking in pregnancy

Cigarettes are the leading cause of lung cancer; it weakens the immune system of you and your baby. Prepare yourself psychologically, that how bad is that for your baby. When you constantly remind yourself this, you might able to change your habit. On the other hand, there are huge benefits of quitting smoking.

Given below are some of the advantages of stopping smoking in pregnancy:

  • Reduced risk of complications in pregnancy and birth
  • Healthier pregnancy and a healthier baby
  • Reduced risk of stillbirth
  • Reduced risk of premature birth
  • Reduce the risk of cot death, also known as sudden infant death syndrome
  • Healthier and whiter teeth
  • Clearer and smoother skin
  • After a day of stopping the cigarette, your lungs will throw out the tar from your body and your blood pressure become normal.
  • Better sleep and feeling more energized during the day.
  • Your taste and smell senses will improve.
  • Ability to save more money since the price of tobacco is getting costly every year.

Stopping smoking during pregnancy also helps a baby later in life. Children whose parents smoke are likely to suffer from asthma and other serious illnesses as compared to non-smokers. Keep reminding yourself the incredible thing you have done for yourself and your baby. Every time you beat your craving, you win.

Follow Elawoman blog for more updates on pregnancy related articles. To get information on IVF doctors and hospitals reach us at +917899912611.

Dr. Hemlata Singhal

About The Author

Obstetrician, Laparoscopic Surgeon Dr. Hemlata Singhal
Gurgaon

Dr. Hemlata Singhal is an infertility specialist and gynecologist who completed her MBBS and DGO from King George's Medical College, Lucknow University in the year 1985 and 1989 respectively. Later on, Dr. Hemlata went on to pursue Fellowship in Minimal Access Surgery from World Laparoscopy Hospital, Gurgaon in the year 2013. Dr. Hemlata specializes in IUI treatment, Normal vaginal delivery, Gynecology Laparoscopy and Hysterectomy procedures. She is a member of Federation of Obstetric and Gynecological Societies of India (FOGSI) and World Association of Laparoscopic Surgeons (WALS). At present, Dr. Hemlata is practicing her expertise at City Medical Centre, South City, Gurgaon and Miracles Mediclinic, Sector 56, Gurgaon. For more information, visit elawoman.com

SOURCES AND REFERENCES:

  1. Meftal spas tablet - usage, benefits, side-effects and precautions Asthma, Elawoman - 2017

1 Comment

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Mekhal Darsha

Smoking is really injurious to health. One should not smoke whether trying to conceive or not. Smoking does not only harm the smoker but it also harms the people who are in the vicinity of the smoker.

Oct. 31, 2018, 12:01 p.m. 4.5

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