Pregnancy and smoking: what are the risks for the baby?

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Tobacco is, along with alcohol, one of the most dangerous substances for a fetus. But why exactly? We take stock of the risks run by mother and baby.

It’s no secret that smoking during pregnancy is very bad, especially for the unborn child. But pregnant women do not always know the real consequences of smoking on their unborn baby. And yet, smoking during pregnancy is just as bad for the child as it is for the mother.

Tobacco, dangerous for the health of the baby

Beyond the doubling of the risk of complications for mother and child during childbirth, baby’s health is directly affected by smoking for several years. Here are the risks a mom takes when she smokes during pregnancy.

1. Stunted growth

Tobacco is known to be the main cause of intrauterine growth retardation in European countries. In fact, the birth weight of children whose mother smoked during pregnancy is lower than that of children whose mother did not smoke. This growth retardation is created by the vasoconstriction of the vessels that supply the baby: in practice, their diameter narrows and prevents the blood from passing optimally. And this is a problem that will follow him for the first years of his life, if not longer.

In severe cases, the baby will have to stay in neonatal care to be monitored until he reaches a correct weight, before returning to his family. He will also have to be followed medically for several years, will be more fragile and more often subject to respiratory distress and / or hypertension.

2. Increased risk of miscarriage

According to a study published by the British Medical Journal, a British scientific journal, the risk of miscarriage when pregnant and smoking is 40% higher than in a pregnant non-smoker.

3. Le preliminary cake

This pathology is an abnormal localization of the placenta. The placenta, which is normally placed at the top of the uterus, is said to be preavia when it is positioned, partially or totally, on the cervix. It then prevents vaginal delivery, which very often leads to a cesarean delivery.

The placenta previa is also responsible for hemorrhages which are sometimes very important during the second but also the third trimester of pregnancy. A complication that can cause considerable fetal distress.

4. Increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome

Chemicals in cigarettes such as nicotine, tar or carbon monoxide cannot be retained by the placenta, and are therefore ingested by the fetus directly. Worse yet, they will stay in the baby’s metabolism long after birth.

In addition, tobacco causes a reduction in the oxygen supply to the brain and lungs of the unborn child, a faster beating of his heart and an increase in the blood pressure of the mother and child. . This combination, which is very harmful for the child, considerably increases the risk of sudden death in newborns.

Want to quit smoking when you are pregnant

If weaning remains very difficult for many and it is preferable to stop smoking before becoming pregnant, it is quite possible to start this path during pregnancy. Here is a video that will give you some ideas if you want to quit smoking. You can also go to the Tabastop website.

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