Do you know that moment when you realize you are a mother to be? It is now not about pregnancy kit, but about that feeling and comprehension of the great luck and at the same time responsibility for another life. You feel stronger and happier because you have another small heart so close to your one. Sometimes you are scared and frustrated because you do not know how to cope with such a responsibility. Unfortunately, this happens to many pregnant women. Some of them do not know how to take care after themselves and their future child. They simply are not sure what will be the right decision.
What to do if you are a smoker and found out that you are pregnant?
First, do a complete check-up and find out if you already have some health issues, especially connected to smoking or vaping. Surely, any Tom, Dick or Harry even if he were not a doctor would tell you that you have to quit smoking during pregnancy and the period of breastfeeding (the length may differ individually). This is because both tobaccos in usual cigs or a cannabis vape pen may cause a wide range of problems to your future baby and for you first of all. Some future mothers used marijuana for medical purposes or just for fun and then they got to know about pregnancy. Quite often occasions, unfortunately. What’s more, vaping weed is quite popular nowadays too.
What are the risks of smoking when being pregnant?
Miscarriage, which is spontaneous non-intended abortion. This means that a fetus or an embryo dies simply.
Stillbirth, the result of which is a baby born with no signs of life.
Ectopic pregnancy, which is a kind of complication of pregnancy, when the embryo attaches outside the uterus.
Premature birth is the birth of your baby before at least three weeks up to the estimated date of baby delivering.
Low birth weight is determined to be maximum 2,499 g. It does not matter what the gestational age is.
Damage to your baby’s lungs. The result of the common influence of nicotine and carbon monoxide on the embryo’s organism is the reduction of oxygen’s supply. Nicotine acts upon the cardiovascular system and narrows blood vessels. This troubles baby’s breathing. The additional problem is that red blood cells pick up and start carrying molecules of carbon monoxide instead of oxygen.
Damage to your baby’s heart. Statistics say that if you were smoking or used a dry herb vaporizer during the first trimester of pregnancy, your baby is more likely to have some kinds of heart defects or problems after being born. The percentage of babies having problems with heart is about 20 to 70 % higher than those, whose mothers were not smoking or vaping. The thing is that nicotine and carbon monoxide are obstacles for the flow of blood and they detain bloodstream from the heart into lungs and between the chambers of the heart.
What are the specific tips to quit smoking when you are pregnant?
All the tips seem to be the same as for any other people (not those who are going to deliver a baby), but the peculiarity here is that a woman during a pregnancy has an unsettling endocrine profile, which may cause different relapses or/and nervous breakdowns. Not to let this happen you must create a kind of a ‘plan’. Giving up smoking would be a difficult path and you need to know all the steps and components of this vital process.
The most important thing is support. You must rely on your family or friends. You must be sure that you can call them at all hours and they will tell you the proper words so that you would lose all desire for smoking or vaping. Sometimes you would need some drastic action, such as hiding all the stuff for your dry herb vape pen or cigarettes. The other thing is your smartphone. This can be a very particular kind of support and self-control. Just download any app, which helps to quit smoking. You would program yourself on the mental level and would perceive this ‘control’.
Second is some emotional action. Here everything depends on your temper. Some people may feel better after reading about some adverse effects and then nominating each bottle as one of the possible diseases. This psychological safety valve may help a man of strong emotions such as choleric or sanguine. For other types, the analysis and realization of the possible consequences may be more helpful. You can watch a documental film or ask the doctor to talk to you frankly, but surely avoiding too many details not to get more stress.
The third is nicotine replacement therapies. There are two basic types of it: steady response products (e.g., skin nicotine patch) or quick response products (e.g., lozenges, inhalers or chewing gum). Actually, they are not very useful for pregnant women because they still contain negative elements. Though the doses are lower, they still contain nicotine, which is harmful to your organism and your child’s body. It is utterly important to consult a doctor before choosing any kind of nicotine replacement therapy, because the harm rate may vary depending on your health problems or biological inheritance of the baby from your partner.
How to protect your child from smoke if you are a second-hand smoker?
The other side of the coin shows that some babies have problems connected to nicotine because their mothers are second-hand smokers. This happens quite often when the father is the smoker or some other family member. If your partner smokes, ask him not to do it at home or to quit. This is baby of you two, so he must take care if it also. The other thing is if people at your work smoke (a café, at the market or whatever). Anyway, try to reduce contact with smoking people. You must remember that second-hand smoking is in some way more harmful for your body. A child feels all the negative changes and stresses, so second-hand smoking is harmful to him/her also.
To quit smoking during pregnancy and breastfeeding is of uttermost importance. Remember that you will only benefit from quitting smoking and you will be sure that your baby would not have a disability or would not have nagging health problems. Make sure you did your best to deliver a healthy baby.
About the author:
Christina Matthews, the journalist who studies the latest news in the health industry. Now she studies the effects of smoking and vaping on health and reasons of such its popularity.