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The Risks Of Smoking and Pregnancy

Apr 10, 2008
Many years ago, soon-to-be mothers would smoke throughout a pregnancy, having no idea that the tobacco was causing harm to both mother and baby. However, over time significant research has gone into the risks of smoking, specifically when pregnancy is involved. While quitting smoking is tough, remember that it is a decision worth making. After all, you want to ensure you are healthy and that you bring a healthy baby into the world, giving him or her, the best chance at life.

One of the worst things a pregnant woman can do is smoke. It is important to understand why stopping smoking is so vital. For instance, did you know that cigarettes contain literally thousands of chemicals? Even worse, some of the chemicals include lead and cyanide, known compounds that cause cancer. This means that when you smoke, not only are these harmful toxins making their way through your body, but the body of your unborn child as well. The result is babies are often born too early, they are underweight, and unfortunately, some die prior to birth or shortly thereafter.

Obviously, you want to do everything possible during your pregnancy to ensure the health and safety of your beloved baby. Knowing the dangers associated with smoking and pregnancy is a step in the right direction. Everything that goes into your body from food to beverages to medicine to cigarette smoke will be passed on to the baby. Therefore, he or she is being robbed of needed oxygen and nutrients, while being exposed to toxins.

You see, cigarettes contain both carbon monoxide and nicotine. These harmful chemicals go into battle as a team against you and the baby, reducing oxygen supply by narrowing the body's blood vessels, which includes all the vessels in the umbilical cord that nourishes the fetus through the developmental months. Even worse, the red blood cells, which work by carrying the oxygen, will begin to accumulate carbon monoxide molecules. Soon, oxygen is limited to such a degree that the baby suffers.

By smoking during pregnancy, you are increasing the risk of having a baby weighing 5.5-pounds or less, or even a premature birth by as much as 50%. However, the most devastating effect that smoking has on pregnancy is that the risk of a stillbirth is more than doubled. We know that you love and want your unborn baby. With this information, you can see just how critical quitting smoking is. If you are trying but finding that you cannot get past the horrific cravings, you should talk to your doctor about possible aids.

Of course, the best option would be to stop smoking prior to pregnancy. However, if you smoke and discover you are pregnant, the sooner you can do something about this habit the better off in the end. Of all the decisions you have made in your life, the option to quit smoking for the sake of your pregnancy is one of the best, one you will never regret making.
About the Author
Brandon Ryan has been smoke free for over a year now. You can learn how he did it at his website, Get Smoke Free Now. Get Smoke Free Now provides tons of useful tips on how to finally kick your smoking habit for good!
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