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Impact of Smoking on a Pregnant Woman

Smoking has various effects on a pregnant woman; it affects both the unborn child and the expectant woman. Prolonged or excessive smoking is even more detrimental to the health of a pregnant woman. Unfortunately, there is a sizeable number of women who still smoke when they are expecting a child (Andriani and Kuo 4). While some of them do so out of ignorance, others do it because they are not aware of the effects that it has on their pregnancy. Cigarettes contain harmful components that can cause breathing difficulties and respiratory issues. When these substances are inhaled, they have fatal impacts on both the mother and the unborn child.

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Smoking reduces women’s chances of getting pregnant. Even if they are impregnated, there is a high chance that they will experience complications during both the pregnancy and when giving birth. Smoking has been widely linked to miscarriage and stillbirth. While a miscarriage may happen in the first three months of the pregnancy, stillbirth is when the unborn child dies prematurely before being delivered (Andriani and Kuo 12). Smoking can also lead to problems with a pregnant woman’s placenta. When the placenta is affected, it hinders the development of the fetus, meaning the woman cannot get pregnant. Moreover, if the child survives, they may experience congenital disabilities such as respiratory problems, low birth weight and other deficiencies. These affect the child’s growth and development during later stages in life.

Smoking can cause damage to the tissues of both the pregnant woman and the unborn child. One of the harmful substances in cigarettes is carbon monoxide, which reduces the amount of oxygen that the child can get; hence, it can either cause a miscarriage or stillbirth. In most cases, mothers who smoke deliver their children early (McDonnell and Regan 7). It leads to premature babies being born before the gestation period elapses. An infant who is born earlier than expected often risks developing birth defects. Besides, since the newborn comes unexpectedly when the woman’s body is not fully ready to receive the infant, most of the cases of premature births end up being done through the caesarean section or surgery (Oncel and Erdeve 9). A majority of the mothers would not wish to deliver through this procedure because of the complications and the risk that comes with it. Moreover, a newborn who is delivered prematurely may have low birth weight. In this case, they have to be placed under incubation. Unfortunately, some of these infants die due to birth complications and defects associated with either being born prematurely or congenital disabilities.

Smoking increases the risk of a woman developing health problems and transferring some of the health complications to the unborn child. One of the health defects that pregnant women may experience if they smoke during pregnancy is difficulty in breathing. Some of them may develop adverse effects, such as lung cancer (Oncel and Erdeve 21). Besides, a woman who smokes may experience premature labor, which can be extremely painful to the pregnant woman and also may strain the unborn child leading to birth defects (McDonnell and Regan 5). There are several complications and defects associated with such a habit. Therefore, smoking during pregnancy has profound effects on both the pregnant mother and the unborn child. It is prudent that a pregnant woman should not smoke during pregnancy.

Works Cited

Andriani, Helen, and Hsien-Wen, Kuo. “Adverse Effects of Parental Smoking During Pregnancy in Urban and Rural Areas.” BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, vol. 14, no. 1, 2015, pp. 2-16.

McDonnell, Brenda and Regan, Carmen. “Smoking in Pregnancy, Pathophysiology of Harm and Current Evidence for Monitoring and Cessation.” The Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, vol. 21, no. 3, 2019, pp. 169-175.

Oncel, Mehmet, and Erdeve, Omer. “Impact of Cigarette Smoking During Pregnancy on Conception and Fetal Health Through Serum Folate Levels.” Handbook of Fertility, 2015, pp. 27-33.

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