|I have smoked cigarettes for most of my life and can’t
see how I will be able to give up now that I am expecting.
Is it really so important?
There are about a thousand reasons why it is completely
essential that you give up smoking, not only for your own
health but also for the health of your baby. This is a huge
issue because giving up is so very difficult. But aside
from the health of your baby, healthy parents will be of
great value to your child.
During pregnancy smoking can reduce the amount of oxygen
available to the baby. This is also the case during the
birth. Babies born to smoking mothers are on average smaller.
The risk of premature labour is also increased. These risks
were considerably reduced when the mother gave up smoking
early in the pregnancy. After the birth, nicotine is passed
onto the baby in breastmilk.
Research has shown a clear link between smoking and such
issues as SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) and baby health.
It seems that being constantly exposed to smoke particles
has a profound effect on the system of a small growing baby.
And even when the parents tried to shield the baby by not
smoking nearby, the health risks were hardly diminished
at all. The health risks are increased by increasing amounts
of smoke, for example if more than one person in the house
Children of smokers get sick easily. They stay sick for
longer. They have an increased risk of lung and ear infections
of all kinds. They are at an increased risk of hospitalization
during the first few years of life. They suffer from a higher
incidence of tooth decay in childhood. Children of smokers
are also more likely to smoke themselves.
All these factors add up to one conclusion – you
should give up smoking. It won’t be easy. Our sympathies
are with you. But it’s the right thing to do!