Smoking and Pregnancy

Dr Richa Sharma and Dr. Amit Basnotra
Smoking or any other addictions     definitely not only have ill impact     on the mother but also on the prospective child.Both kinds of   smoking be it active(Primary source is sufferer only) or passive(Some other person in the surroundings)  are harmful and it has been claimed that passive is more dangerous       for females and kids.
Smoking is a practice in which a substance is burned and the resulting smoke breathed in to be tasted and absorbed into the bloodstream. Most commonly the substance is the dried leaves of the tobacco plant.
Smoking generally has negative health effects, because smoke inhalation inherently poses challenges to various physiologic processes such as respiration. Diseases related to tobacco smoking have been shown to kill approximately half of long term smokers when compared to average mortality rates faced by non-smokers.
Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable death globally. Male and female smokers lose an average of 13.2 and 14.5 years of life, respectively. At least half of all lifelong smokers die earlier as a result of smoking. The risk of dying from lung cancer before age 85 is 22.1% for a male smoker and 11.9% for a female current smoker, in the absence of competing causes of death.
Gross affects of Smoking-
Among the diseases that can be caused by smoking are –
* Vascular stenosis,
* Lung cancer,
* Heart attacks
* Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease(COPD)
* Smoking during pregnancy may cause ADHD to a fetus.
Impact on Pregnant Woman-
Quitting smoking should be the goal for every pregnant smoker.
Smoking appears to have many negative effects on fertility for both men and women, and might make it harder to become pregnant. Smoking is also linked with a greater risk of ectopic pregnancy – when the fertilized egg implants outside the uterus, usually in a fallopian tube.
Impact on baby-
Smoking during pregnancy exposes a baby to many harmful chemicals, including carbon monoxide. These chemicals limit the baby’s supply of oxygen and the delivery of nutrients.
Various problems which can happen in an on going pregnancy to post delivery to a growing child are as-
* Problems with the placenta
* A reduction in birth weight
* Preterm premature rupture  of amniotic sac whichleaks or breaks before week 37 of pregnancy
* Premature birth
* Certain birth defects
* Pregnancy loss
* Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
* Colic
* Asthma
* Childhood obesity
* Some research also suggests that smoking during pregnancy might affect a child’s emotional development, behavior and ability to learn. Smoking during pregnancy might even impair a child’s own fertility.
Only measure is to quit straightway -cutting down or reducing frequency wont work.Early you do, Safer you and your baby will be.
(The author are senior IVF Consultant medicover and senior Gastroentrologist Delhi NCR)