Baby on the Way? Keep Smoking at Bay
See also:alcohol , and chemicals from smoking can also pass through the placenta to your baby. Chemicals from smoke are absorbed into the blood from the mom’s lungs. Many of the chemicals are not only toxic but also interfere with the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the baby. These chemicals can cause serious and chronic illnesses in adults and children. In a developing baby, the chemicals can also affect how the brain, lungs, heart, and other organs develop. Some health issues may be seen at birth while others can develop later in a baby’s life. Fortunately, it is never too late to give your baby the best start to a healthy life.
Risks for Mother and BabyResearchers do not yet fully understand how every chemical in smoke affects a growing baby. But they do know that the health risks are high. If you smoke, you are more likely to have pregnancy complications that put both you and your baby at risk. Complications may include:
- Early rupture of the membranes
- Placental problems, such as detachment, tearing, or slipping
- Premature births—If you quit smoking soon after becoming pregnant, your risk of having a premature birth becomes similar to that of mothers who are nonsmokers.
- Being born underweight
- Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
- Attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders
- Congenital heart defects