Are you planning to have a baby? Are you pregnant? If the answer to either of these questions is "Yes". Then there is another important question for you, do you or your partner smoke?
Smoking is an addiction not many find easy to let go, but if you ’re planning to or already having a baby, here are a few things you must be aware of.
What does smoking do to your body?
Cigarette contains more than 4,000 chemicals, including cyanide, lead and other carcinogens. The smoke enters your bloodstream which is the only source of nutrition for the baby.
Usually, the first nicotine dose also makes a large difference by significantly tightening the blood vessels and it also hinders oxygen flow to the baby. If the baby doesn’t get sufficient oxygen it could lead to altered brainstem development, altered lung structure, and cerebral palsy, stunned growth, premature birth, or low weight during birth or stillbirth.
What if you are not the one smoking?
Even if you are not smoking, being exposed to smoke during pregnancy has a detrimental effect on the prenatal health of the baby. It could lead to the following –
Delivery before full term is complete
Low weight at birth
Undermined psychological and physiological development
Asthma or allergic rhinitis
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
Passive smoke, also known as Second Hand Smoke, that gets transferred from husbands, friends or other family members can also affect the growth of the baby. The baby’s source of breathing is what you breathe in and if you inhale carcinogens and other harmful chemicals, it finds a way to get into your baby’s lungs too!
What are the other means of transferring smoke?
Toxins have a very sly way of creeping into your breathing or living space. This is usually referred to as Third Hand Smoke, which is residue left behind on furniture, rugs, paint on the walls etc. The surroundings could smell of smoke even if no one is currently smoking, there is a good chance that there is tobacco residue still there. Upon inhaling, these toxins are absorbed into your blood and shared with your baby.
Can effects of smoking be passed down genetically?
Yes! They can! If your grandmother smoked while your mother was pregnant with you, there is a high chance of you being affected by Asthma and other genetic disorders. Genetic history of smoking also alters your genetic make-up and increases your chances of acquiring and transferring diseases to your unborn child.
How can you ensure a smoke-free prenatal zone?
Encourage your partner to quit
Wear a mask to cover your nose
Practice breathing exercises and Prenatal Yoga
Avoid places where smoking is prevalent
Visit open area places, preferably the ones with a lot greenery!
How can we help you in getting the best prenatal growth for the baby?
We at the Birthplace have an excellent team of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists who can guide you and your partner on improving the prenatal health of your baby. We also have a specialist team of Nutritionists, Yoga and Lamaze Instructors who can work with you to ensure your baby eats and breathes well!
Interested in what we have to offer? Reach out to us!