Smoking When You’re Pregnant – How Bad Is It?
Need a stronger reason to quit smoking when you’re pregnant?
This might give you a little more motivation. Recent studies prove that smoking during pregnancy stiffens the blood vessels of the fetus by 15%!
Yes, of course it’s bad. When doctors tell you to quit smoking once they know you’re pregnant, believe me, they are really serious about it.
Recent studies have shown that smoking during and after pregnancy directly and indirectly affects the major blood vessels of the born child. Carotid arteries, one of the major arteries found along the neck, transport blood from the heart to the head and brain. Nicotine from cigarettes is transported from the mother’s blood to the baby and targets these vessels, thereby decreasing their flexibility. The effects of stiff blood vessels already appear in unborn babies of smoking mothers and last throughout their childhood. Evidence shows that smoking in pregnancy leads to major consequences such as growth retardation in fetuses, miscarriage, premature birth, lung insufficiency and stillbirth – all these resulting partly from stiff blood vessels. Also, as the child grows, the walls of these vessels gradually stiffen. As early as 6 years old, the child may have rigid vessels almost resembling that of an adult. Particularly at this age, the brain needs maximum support for its development which may be interfered by any serious abnormality. Stiff vessels mean that the heart must work harder in order to pump enough blood to the brain.
An increased heartbeat of your baby is one of the already-known bad effects of cigarette smoking. Rigid vessels just force the heart to burn both ends of a candle. The heart gradually weakens.
As you can see, this seems to be more than enough a reason to quit smoking at least during your pregnancy. If your health is not enough to persuade you to leave the cigarette, at least the health of your baby is.Click here to learn how to Quit Smoking! Click here for our full range of Women’s Health Services
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