If you are thinking of getting pregnant and smoking cigarettes is part of your lifestyle, then here are a few facts about smoking during pregnancy you should be aware of. Along with all the known harmful effects of smoking cigarettes, there are specific facts about smoking while pregnant that reveal the negative effects of smoking cigarettes to both the mother and the fetus.

Trying to get pregnant while still smoking cigarettes is a poorly informed decision. If you evaluate the smoking facts about the various effects of smoking while pregnant, you will find that you place not only your own health but the health of your child at risk if you continue smoking in pregnancy.

The smoking facts are pretty clear about the effects of nicotine and cigarette ingredients on the human body. The overall effect is one of reduced circulation and oxygenation while adding many toxic materials to the general circulation.

Some sources indicate the presence of about 4000 toxic ingredients in cigarette smoke. Some of these ingredients are actually in the tobacco mixture but many are formed during the burning of the tobacco. But almost all of them will cross the placenta and reach the developing fetus.

The developing fetus does not live in an environment that is separate from the mother's internal environment. A fetus derives it nourishment from the mother's blood. While there is no actual exchange of blood between the mother and the baby almost all the constituents that are dissolved in the mother's blood pass to the fetus by way of the placenta. This is true for oxygen as well as other vital life sustaining substances.

When you are pregnant your blood is literally the baby's lifeline, but toxins and harmful substances in your blood can also reach the fetus by crossing the placenta.

The Harmful Effects of Smoking During Pregnancy

The following ingredients in cigarette smoke are among the many toxins pregnant smokers pass to the baby:

  • carbon monoxide
  • arsenic - classified as a group 1 carcinogen (known to be carcinogenic to humans)
  • benzene- also a group one carcinogen known to cause cancer of the blood
  • tobacco specific nitrosamines - carcinogens specific to the tobacco plant
  • nicotine
  • polonium 210 - a radioactive substance with an affinity for the broad leafed tobacco plant
  • hydrogen cyanide

The smoking facts show that babies born to pregnant smokers are more prone to complications and serious illness. Even the rate of sudden infant death is higher among babies born to women who were smoking during pregnancy.

Cigarette smoke significantly lowers the oxygen content of maternal blood and this is believed to be one of the main reasons why infants born to pregnant smokers have a lower birth weight.

When you are pregnant, smoking can harm you also. Mothers who continue to smoke during pregnancy have more miscarriages, and more complications during birth.

If you are trying to get pregnant but you smoke cigarettes, quitting before you conceive is the best way to ensure that your baby starts life in an environment that can provide the oxygen and nourishment needed for healthy growth and successful adaptation to life outside the uterus after birth.

Author's Bio: 

Beverly OMalley explores the smoking facts about health at www.smoking-facts-and-fiction.com where smoking addiction fiction is exposed and the many smoking effects on the body are explained.