What complications does smoking cause in your baby?
There has already been a lot of talk and material about cigarette smoking affecting babies. But what exactly does it do to the baby? What are the complications of smoking in your pregnancy and in the baby inside your womb? Especially when a mother is smoking during pregnancy? Does this cause long term effects to the baby?
What are the possible health complications of smoking in pregnancy brings?
There are several ways a child’s health will be affected by cigarette smoking according to the CDC.
- Your baby has a chance to be born smaller than average, even if you have had a full term pregnancy. Smoking hinders the baby’s growth and development.
- Your baby may be born prematurely, and most premature babies have health problems.
- Smoking can damage your baby’s developing lungs and brain, and this damage can last even when the baby grows through childhood and puberty.
- Smoking raises the risk of having abnormal bleeding during pregnancy and delivery. This puts both the mother and the baby in danger.
- Smoking also raises the chances of the baby having birth defects which include a cleft lip, cleft palate, or even both. A cleft is an opening in your baby’s lip or in the roof of her mouth (palate). This will make it harder for them to eat properly and will most likely need surgery to be corrected.
- For those babies whose mother smoked throughout their pregnancy is seems that they are also more susceptible to SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
New mothers: How can being premature harm your baby, exactly? What are the long term effects?
A baby that is born too early, or 3 weeks before the due date is considered premature. This is concerning because babies that are born too early tend to miss out on developmental milestones in the womb that help them develop properly and prepare them for the world outside the womb. This leads to health problems or even, death.
- Low birth weight
- Feeding difficulties
- Breathing problems right away
- Breathing problems that last into childhood
- Cerebral palsy(brain damage that causes trouble with movement and muscle tone)
- Developmental delays (when a baby or child is behind in language, thinking, or movement skills)
- Problems with hearing or eyesight which will last the rest of their lives
Premature babies may need to stay at the hospital for days, weeks, or even months.
If there are serious complications that smoking brings to adults, it is doubly so with babies. We should all try to be as healthy as we can possibly be for our children, and this includes not smoking during pregnancy. This is important to the fundamental development of a child, and during this time, a child should be given the optimal chances to do so.
Quitting smoking at any time during pregnancy is good. This will help your baby get more oxygen in their system, they will be able to grow and develop better in the absence of the chemicals that smoking gives, and the mother will have more energy and have an easier time with breathing.
But quitting smoking is really challenging especially when it became your habit. But always know that you can do it if you just put your mind to it. There’s nothing impossible when you focus on your goal. It may be hard at first but remember the benefits of quitting smoking for your baby and you. It will lessen the health complications of your baby and you if you quit smoking in pregnancy.
Ask your local health department or research online the best ways on how to quit smoking. You can further read on how to quit smoking here.
To read more on smoking when pregnant, CLICK HERE