Smoking during pregnancy
Imagine that your still not born child should enter the room to the door that you see a warning sign, “In this room there are toxic fumes approximately 4,000 chemical compounds and some of them can harm your child or to kill him, but also increase the likelihood of miscarriage “. “Why would I bring my child into such a room,” most mothers will think, but this is exactly what happens when a pregnant woman smokes or inhales smoke from other people’s cigarettes.
Among the many toxic constituents of cigarette smoke are nicotine (a drug known to constrict blood vessels), carbon monoxide (takes oxygen), benzene (a potential carcinogen), hydrogen cyanide (used as a rat poison), and formaldehyde. The harmful effects of cigarette smoke on mothers and babies increase with the number of cigarettes smoked per day. In addition, the latest research has shown that smoking is more harmful for women’s lungs than for men, since women’s lungs are smaller.
Smoking deprives your child of nutrients. Many studies have shown that in smoking mothers children are born with less weight than in those who did not smoke. Nicotine from the smoke inhaled by the mother enters the bloodstream. The poisonous substance narrows the blood vessels of the uterus, reducing blood flow to the baby in it .
When mom smokes, a child smokes with her
The healthy development of a child depends on blood flow – a decrease in it means inadequate nutrition, and therefore stunted growth. As a rule, large babies are healthier and less likely to need special care after birth.
Recent research refutes the theory that the placenta can act as a barrier to prevent toxic substances in cigarette smoke from reaching the baby from the mother’s blood . When scientists took blood from the umbilical cord of babies whose mothers smoked or were exposed to cigarette smoke during pregnancy, they found the presence of carcinogenic substances in it . Newborns received about 50% of carcinogens contained in the mother’s blood, and than in the more a woman has been exposed to cigarette smoke, the higher the level of these toxic substances in the blood of infants.
Smoking deprives children of oxygen.
In addition to limiting blood flow to the uterus, smoking and breathing in other people’s cigarette smoke , cigarette smoke reduces the amount of oxygen available to the baby. The level of carbon monoxide in the blood of a pregnant woman who smokes is 600-700 percent higher than that of a non-smoker. Carbon monoxide blocks oxygen, which means it prevents blood cells from carrying oxygen to other tissues. Scientists compare the level of carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke with the level of the substance in the exhaust gases of a vehicle; and indeed, in the womb of a smoking mother, the child literally suffocates. Lack of oxygen can affect the development of almost any organ of the fetus.
Smoking damages the fetal brain
Recent studies provide evidence to suggest that in the child’s brain development has a negative impact not only the lack of oxygen, but and the presence of various chemical compounds that can directly damage brain cells. In children whose mothers smoked during pregnancy, and especially if they smoked more than a pack a day had fewer head circumference, retarded mental development at one year of age, a lower IQ, with the problem behavior and the worst performance in school by comparison with those children whose mothers did not smoke.
The sooner you quit smoking, the healthier you and your child will be. It is best to give up smoking even at the stage of preparation for pregnancy. Despite the fact that the adverse effects of smoking is considered to be the highest in the first trimester, even the children of those who had quit smoking at later stages of pregnancy, are much healthier than those whose mothers continued to smoke during the whole period. There are n’t very many hard and fast rules in this book , and here’s one : quit. Stop smoking.
This is, of course, easier said than done. Smoking is not just a habit, it is a drug addiction. From habit to give a fairly easy, especially if you are motivated to this little man, growing in you in the stomach. Addiction is much more difficult to break. You are accustomed to experiencing the strong physiological effects of smoking. Nicotine affects almost all body systems. In addition, you may develop a habit of pleasant taste sensations while smoking. It takes a while for the body to feel good without nicotine. Quitting smoking is one of the hardest things you will ever do in your life. Nicotine addiction is powerful, but you just have to give it a try. Here are some guidelines.
Convince yourself that the danger is real. Statistics show that the chances of developing complications of pregnancy, and also the fact that your child will be less intelligent and healthy increases in that case, if you smoke. It’s just not fair to put yourself and your child at risk .
Try to quit smoking abruptly
The most opportune moment to extinguish your last cigarette is the minute you find out that your pregnancy test has been positive . Some women do it . Others believe that abrupt physical and emotional weaning from cigarettes can lead to unnecessary anxiety, which will adversely affect the child. For such women, a gradual weaning from this bad habit is more suitable . Some are lucky – the emerging aversion to the smell of cigarette smoke makes the process easier.
Try the goal setting method. If you are unable to quit cigarettes on the first day you find out that you are pregnant, set a goal for yourself to gradually get rid of the bad habit, say, on the tenth day. Come up with a reward for yourself. Calculate how much money you will save in a year if you quit smoking and spend that amount buying something special for yourself or your child.
Choose your poison more carefully. Change the brand of cigarettes. In some varieties of cigarette nicotine and carbon monoxide greater than in the other.
Limit the amount of poison you inhale. Take fewer puffs. Only smoke the first half of the cigarette. (The concentration of harmful substances at the filter is higher.)
Fill the resulting vacuum. Remember what made you smoke. Once you understand the physiological factors that may have led to physiological dependence, it will be easier for you to quit smoking or replace the habit with a safer one.
Try substitutes that are less harmful to your health. If you need something to keep your hands busy, try writing, drawing, solving crosswords. If you need to feel something in your mouth, you can nibble on a carrot or cinnamon stick or straw. Try sucking on ice, frozen fruit juice, or hard candy. Chew on the seeds. Chew gum. If you have smoked to relax, use aids such as quiet music or reading. Sometimes you can spend money on a massage.
Take a walk. Go to the pool.
Switch to healthier associations. If you associate smoking with a certain person, place, or pleasure, look for other healthier options . If you enjoyed smoking a cigarette over your morning cup of coffee, switch to juice or herbal infusion .
Form unpleasant associations. Drug addiction is exacerbated when it is associated with pleasant thoughts or experiences. Try to associate the pleasure of smoking or the actual smoking process with the unpleasant picture. For example, when you are tempted to smoke, imagine that a child from you in the stomach begins to suffocate.
Try scare tactics. Write your own warning signs, such as, “Every puff may cost my child another nerve cell,” or “Smoking can harm or kill my child , ” and post them in the places where you smoke most often. Wrap a strip with this lettering around a pack of cigarettes.
Find a company to help you quit smoking. If for non- smoking you need a company enlisted the help of a friend or spouse. When you feel the urge to smoke, call this person to do something interesting for both of you with him .
Trust yourself. Rather than despairing an accidental breakdown, praise yourself for every puff you give up. Make a firm decision to smoke less and less every day .
Seek help from a specialist. If after two weeks of independent smoking cessation you have not succeeded, seek help from a specialist. If you attempt to quit smoking cause you anxiety, it is likely that for this there are deeper reasons, which can be successfully identified psychotherapist.
Don’t doubt your decision. Mothers who continue to smoke during pregnancy usually do not give up the habit after the birth of their baby, further increasing the risk to their baby’s health. Respiratory and ear diseases, sudden death syndrome – all this is more common in babies whose mothers smoke.
What’s more, research shows that mothers who smoke have decreased levels of prolactin, a hormone responsible for breast milk production and calm maternal behavior. In smoking mothers there more problems with breast-feeding, and they are used to take away the children from the breast (possibly due to a lack of prolactin).
In babies whose mothers smoke are nicotine found blood, and it testifies to the fact that children are contained in tobacco smoke substances with their mother’s milk (yet less than female smokers all the better to breastfeed than to give him artificial formula milk) …
Refusal of smoking has three positive aspects:
- firstly, the child is not exposed to harmful substances in the womb,
- secondly, he does not receive toxins in infancy, and,
- thirdly, the baby does not adopt this bad habit from the mother .
Usually every loving mother will not do anything to harm her child. Why is it so difficult to quit smoking during pregnancy? The fact that pregnant women continue to smoke proves that smoking is indeed a drug addiction, and so strong that it can enslave the maternal instinct.