We all know secondhand smoke can affect our health, especially during pregnancy. Medical experts advise all women to quit smoking when they’re pregnant if they are smoking. But quitting smoking is not enough to actually eliminate the risks of pregnant woman having complications and their unborn baby. Second hand smoking can also affect the growing fetus or baby inside a woman’s body.
What is second hand smoking?
The smoke coming from cigarettes actually contains 4,000 chemicals which in fact have been associated with cancer. Imagine how dangerous for a healthy person to inhale secondhand smoke, and what more for a woman who’s in her pregnancy journey.
It is said that being exposed to secondhand smoking during pregnancy can lead to a miscarriage, stillbirth, low birth weight, early birth, and behavioral and learning deficiencies of your baby once you gave it to him/her. It can also lead to SIDS or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. A disorder where a baby suddenly dies while sleeping. This condition is still a mystery because autopsies and medical examinations cannot determine the actual cause of death of a baby who is healthy before he/she died.
Effects of second hand smoking in pregnancy. | Image from IStock
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) did research on second hand smoke during pregnancy. They found out that it’s really harmful to the baby and the mother. And the best thing to do for a pregnant woman is to quit smoking and we have an article on how to quit smoking. If you are pregnant or trying to conceive or have a baby, click here.
But do you know or hear about third-hand smoke or smoking? Do you know that it can also affect pregnancy? Well if not here it is.
What is third hand smoke?
Third hand smoke is a residue left behind by the smoke or the cigarettes on objects. For example, cabinets, tables, chairs, sofas, tv, clothes, phone, and many more. It can stick around for days, months, or even years. Say that there’s no one smoking but you still smell smoke from a cigarette, it’s more likely a residue from smoking.
The toxins that remain on objects in your house can still enter your bloodstream by touching them or inhaling them. Once you inhale the residues of the third hand smoke you also share the toxins with your baby. That’s dangerous. It can affect the baby’s prenatal lung development, said the Los Angeles Research Institute, and later on it can lead to respiratory problems.
Third hand smoke can affect your baby inside the womb. | Image from IStock
If your partner is smoking better tell him to smoke outside while you are pregnant and even after. Also, advise your partner, friends, and family to wash their hands regularly after smoking so that the toxins or residues from smoking will be wiped out.
It is also advised to couples who are trying to conceive or have a baby to avoid exposure to third hand smoke. Also, stop smoking if you want to have a baby. It will help you to conceive a baby without any complications. It is better to quit smoking. Yes, it’s hard to quit on something that has become a habit but if put your mind to it nothing is impossible.
We have to remember that smoking and inhaling second hand smoke for a pregnant woman is very dangerous. Not only for her and for the growing baby inside her womb. The most important thing is that if you are pregnant you should avoid and be cautious about this. If you can avoid people who are smoking it is better.
Also, talk to your partner/husband about your worries about second hand smoking and third hand smoking. Tell him the risks and what can it lead to. And, if you are a husband and your wife is on her journey to pregnancy. Be careful that she inhales second hand smoke from you if you’re smoking. Doing this can avoid different complications for your baby when she/he comes out into the world.
We all want to have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. That’s why it is very important to be careful and avoid things that can harm your baby and you during pregnancy. Second hand smoking is not only dangerous for pregnant women but for all people. Remember when you give birth to your baby, he or she can also inhale this smoke coming from a cigarette, maybe from second hand smoking or third hand smoke.
What complications does smoking cause in your baby?
5 reasons why smoking during pregnancy is extremely dangerous
Here’s how to quit smoking!