Smoking and its consequences in extreme cases are well-known but unfortunately, that doesn’t make people quit just like that. However, while you’re pregnant, it is advised to quit smoking. Why? Well, because for starters, smoking during pregnancy increases the chances of miscarriage and sometimes premature birth.
Motherhood changes everything for a woman. It's a complete transformation and hence it demands some lifestyle changes for the sake of you and your baby and one of them is to quit smoking. In an interview with a popular daily, Bollywood star Konkona Sen Sharma said that she had been a smoker all her life but quit during her pregnancy. "The pregnancy meant a complete lifestyle change. I used to be a smoker, overnight I couldn't smoke or drink at all," she was quoted as saying.
According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, both male and female smokers are about twice as likely to have issues with fertility as compared to nonsmokers.
Miscarriage and stillbirth
Generally, miscarriages happen during the first three months of pregnancy. In a very unusual chance, it can happen after twenty weeks of gestation which is called a stillbirth. The dangerous chemicals in cigarettes are often to be blamed for early miscarriages and stillbirth, according to the US government's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
If a baby is born too early, that is before 37 weeks of pregnancy, then the baby is at higher risk of health issues. Some of the risks can be visual and hearing impairments, mental disability, learning and behavioural problems or many more. According to the CDC, smoking during pregnancy can result in preterm birth.
Low weight at birth
Mothers who smoke during pregnancy are likely to deliver babies who are too small or are delivered too early. According to the CDC, most of the time, babies die due to the sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Studies suggest that carbon monoxide present in tobacco can keep the baby in a mother's womb from getting sufficient oxygen. It can also cause damage to the tissue of the unborn baby. Some studies also suggest that there is a connection between maternal smoking and cleft lip.
Two crucial points to remember are that women who smoke have lesser chances of getting pregnant and that smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of difficult pregnancies.