Effects of Smoking Before and After Pregnancy

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We all are aware of the effects (adverse health effects) of smoking during pregnancy by the mother. Smoking by mother before pregnancy and after childbirth can also have adverse health effects on the mother as well as the baby.

Effects of smoking before pregnancy:

The most important effect of smoking (by expectant mother or woman) before pregnancy is on fertility. A good percentage of women smoke three months prior to conception and delivery at some point or other, although many women may not smoke daily.

Infertility is more common among smoking women (as well as men). The risk of infertility is calculated to be approximately 60% higher among women who smoke in compare to women who do not smoke. There is also health problems (e.g. increased risk of lung cancer, COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, bronchitis, cough, increased risk of asthma and many more health problems) associated with smoking in general.

Effects of smoking after pregnancy:

If mother continues to smoke after delivery the infant becomes victim of passive smoking. Infants exposed to passive smoking after birth have a greater risk of dying due to SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). Passive smoking by infant is also associated with several disorders such as asthma, pneumonia, slow and inadequate lung growth and impaired lung function as a result, increase in dental cavities and tooth decay, learning disorders, higher risk of infection in middle ear, Crohn’s disease etc.

Should mothers’ breastfeed if they continue to smoke after delivery?

Yes, babies should be breastfed even if mother continues to smoke after birth. The benefits of breast feeding outweigh the ill effects of passive smoking by the baby. But mother should take all precautions to reduce passive smoking to her child. Breastfeeding has proven beneficial effects against diarrhea and respiratory infections.

So, quit smoking NOW.

 

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