Smoking during pregnancy is very dangerous to your little one's health. Unfortunately, about 13% of women in the United States smoke during their pregnancy. Even after you give birth, smoking while breast feeding is also wrong. The saying "you are what you eat" is true also when breast feeding. Whatever is put in a woman's body is transferred to the milk and to the baby. The best time to quit smoking is when two parents think that they may want to have children in the future. If you stop quitting right when you want to get pregnant, you still may have nicotine in your system that is harmful to the baby.
There are many complications and risks of smoking while you are pregnant. Your pregnancy could become life threatening as the embryo could be implanted in the fallopian tube or in an abnormal place instead of the uterus. Smoking while you are pregnant could also cause no birth of the baby. This will cause the Doctor to have to remove the baby surgically or with drug treatment to save the woman's life. Smoking can also double a woman's risk of developing placenta complications. The placenta may be attached too low in the uterus and may cover up the cervix. The placenta may also separate from the uterine wall before delivery. Any problems with the placenta can result in harming both the baby and the mother. Babies of mothers who smoke are twice as likely to die from SIDS, otherwise known as sudden infant death syndrome. Another risk is the baby may have a dangerously low birth weight. A baby born less than 5 1/2 pounds may be at risk for serious respiratory problems and chronic disabilities. Nursing mothers who smoke more than 20 cigarettes a day will likely pass along harmful chemicals from cigarettes to their babies in breast milk. Also, smoking too much may increase a mother's milk and could even completely cut off the milk supply. If any nicotine gets inside the breast milk it could cause the baby to feel nausea, have diarrhea or abdominal cramps.
Not only can smoking affect your baby while pregnant, but it can also affect your baby after birth. Nicotine constricts the blood vessels on your side of the placenta. This means that oxygen is passed over less effectively to the baby. Smokers breathe in poisons like nicotine and carbon monoxide, which is the same gas that comes from a car's exhaust pipes. The American Lung Association says that kids who's mom's smoke while pregnant get more colds and have more lung problems such as asthma.
It is important to not only keep your baby safe, but also to keep yourself safe as well. If you need help quitting talk to a Doctor. There are patches and medications that you can take before you decide to get pregnant. However, you must be free of medications that help you stop smoking for months before you decide to get pregnant, since these medications can stay in your system. There are plenty of helpful ideas out there that will help you quit smoking.