Pregnancy & Smoking

#8 Small Talk 2019

photo credit: flikr.com

Last week I
wrote about whether you should indulge in alcohol whilst pregnant and the
resounding answer was NO. This week I want to let you know what smoking whilst
pregnant can do to your baby. I think the answer here will also be a resounding
NO, but what happens if you fall pregnant unexpectedly and you are a smoker?
Read on to be inspired (hopefully) to give up smoking as soon as you can!

Risks to baby

  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) happening to your baby is 30% increased if you are a smoker – that fact alone should go a long way to motivating your giving up the habit! According to the Lullaby Trust https://www.lullabytrust.org.uk/safer-sleep-advice/smoking/ if either you or your partner smokes whilst you are pregnant or after your baby is born the risk of your baby dying from SIDS is greatly increased. As far as I am concerned that is a very frightening fact.
  • The risk of your baby suffering from allergies is also increased with your smoking either during pregnancy or after the birth.  The chance of your baby having allegies is about 4x higher if you smoke.
  • The chances of upper respiratory infections as well as bronchitis occurring are also greater in babies whose moms or their partners are smokers
  • Another fact is that the blood pressure is higher in children who are born to mother’s who smoke. This could increase their risk of cardiac disease.
  • Smoking causes your blood to carry less oxygen to your baby. This lack of oxygen over time can impair baby’s growth and development which means that your baby could be well under weight when born and thus be more susceptible to breathing an feeding difficulties.

The good news

If you are planning a pregnancy, you should give up smoking
before allowing yourself to fall pregnant. If, however, you have an unplanned
pregnancy, the good news is that if you stop smoking when you find out you are
pregnant, your baby will have a chance to “catch up” and be born at a weight
closer to that of a baby from a non-smoker

Conclusion

It is well worth giving up smoking from the minute you know
you are pregnant. And, of course, as passive smoke is deemed even more harmful,
you and your partner should stay “non-smokers” even once your baby is born. In
South Africa it is actually illegal to smoke in a car with any child under the
age of 12 years – even with the window open.

So, please, give your baby the best chance for a good start
in life….don’t smoke during your pregnancy. Try to give up smoking forever and
avoid taking your baby to places where there is a likely hood of the presence
of smokers and a room full of smoke. Why put your baby at risk?

I hope that by pointing out just a few of the risks to YOUR
baby will encourage you to give up the smoking habit. You, too, will benefit
from by giving up your smokes. You will feel far healthier and have less risk
of developing cancer or cardiac disease. So, come on….give up the smokes
TODAY!!!!

Yours in lifestyle newborn photography

Lydia 

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