Studies have shown that even if you don’t smoke when you’re pregnant, just being around smokers, can increase the risk of harming your future baby
Most pregnant/expectant mothers probably avoid smoking because of the awareness that nicotine has a toxic effect on eggs. But apparently, not so many would freak out or view being around people who smoke as a problem during pregnancy.
Still not sure if it’s a problem? Here’s an expert advice from an epidemiologist.
Contaminants can get into your bloodstream
It’s wise to avoid secondhand tobacco smoke as much as possible, especially when you’re pregnant. Even though you’re not the one smoking, contaminants can get into your bloodstream when you inhale tobacco smoke.
The more you’re around smokers, the more of these contaminants you can absorb.
Babies may weigh less
Some studies have shown that pregnant women exposed to secondhand tobacco smoke are more likely to give birth to babies who weigh less than the babies of women who aren’t exposed to tobacco smoke. And smaller babies have a harder time fighting illness.
It’s also a good idea to keep your baby away from tobacco smoke after you deliver because of a variety of possible risks, including childhood asthma.
Risk of stillbirth & birth defects
Pregnant smokers have a 20 to 34% increase risk of having a baby who is stillborn compared to women who don’t smoke. The risks aren’t much less – 23% – for the non-smokers exposed to secondhand smoke.
The range for smoking women and birth defects is between 10 – 34%, and for pregnant women who are around smokers, 13%. Babies exposed to passive smoke are more likely to be born with major deformities of the feet, testes, or not have a brain.
Babies in contact with secondhand smoke are likely to develop SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) and may develop negative effects on their immune system.
They likely to suffer from ear infections, respiratory diseases, colds, and teeth problems.
It is advisable for women to protect themselves from passive smoke before and during pregnancy, not only to reduce risks of disease, but also to reduce the many harms that passive smoke can have on your future baby.
Are you an expectant mother? Did you find this helpful? Let us know in the comments!