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Smoking During Pregnancy - Effects of Smoking on Unborn Children

Smoking while pregnant puts both mother's and baby's life at risk. Cigarette smoke contains a cocktail of drugs and poisons which are very harmful to your unborn baby. It also reduces the oxygen level in your blood, which deprives your baby of oxygen and can cause a host of health problems.

Smoking during pregnancy - effects:

1. Women who smoke run a higher risk of miscarriage.

2. Smokers are more likely to develop complications in pregnancy and labour, including bleeding, premature detachment of the placenta and premature rupture of the membranes.

3. Some studies suggest there may be a link between smoking and ectopic pregnancy - a life threatening condition where an egg is fertilised outside the womb. This can reduce the chance of becoming pregnant again.

4. Smoking increases the risk of birth defects.

5. Smokers are three times more likely to have smaller babies. On average, babies born to smokers are around 200g lighter than those born to non-smokers. Low birthweight babies run a higher risk of death and disease in infancy and early childhood.

6. Babies are a third more likely to be still born or die within the first week if born to smokers.

7. Smoking trebles the risk of cot death.

8. Babies and children whose parents smoke are twice as likely to develop respiratory problems such as asthma and bronchitis.

9. Research has shown that smoking may contribute to inadequate breast milk production.

Conclusion:

The good news is that stopping smoking will benefit your unborn children immediately. When your lungs become smoke free, the carbon monoxide and chemicals clear from your body and your oxygen levels return to normal.

Much of the damage caused by smoking can be reversed because your body is a living organism that has the ability to heal itself.

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