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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Essay on Harmful Effects of Smoking During Pregnancy

Pregnancy puts a woman’s health at risk because of the many hormonal and physical changes that happens in her body. On the other hand, smoking puts a person at risk for severe medical and surgical conditions. Now, smoking during pregnancy – how many risks does that entail? And at the top of that, it is not only the woman’s health that is in danger, but also her baby’s life.

Smoking is associated to many congenital or birth defects and detrimental outcomes in newborn babies. Complications such as prematurely born babies, babies who are mature at age of gestation but comes out to be too small, and worst, babies who are dead before they were even born. Physicians even say that a mother with predisposed diseases such as hypertension or diabetes has a higher chance of giving birth to a healthy baby than a mother who has no serious illness at all, but is a smoker. This is because illnesses can be controlled by medicine and other procedures; but with smoking, there is nothing a doctor could do but strongly advise the mother to quit her habit. If she refuses, nothing can be done to protect the baby.

But why is smoking considered so harmful especially in pregnant women? It is known that cigarettes contain a substantial number of toxic chemicals – a number that can reach to more than four thousand. These chemicals include nicotine, carbon monoxide, lead, cyanide, and many other compounds which are considered carcinogenic, or cancer-causing. If these dangerous chemicals enter a pregnant woman’s body, it is absorbed in her bloodstream – her baby’s sole supplier of nutrition and oxygen. Carbon monoxide and nicotine is also proven to impede the baby’s oxygen supply by narrowing the woman’s blood vessels and, naturally because she is pregnant, those vessels include her baby’s umbilical cord. This lessens the amount of oxygen that reaches the baby. With decreased oxygen, the baby’s growth and development is altered greatly. Chances are, the baby will be born prematurely and underweight, or worst, dead.

These are some of the dangerous effects of smoking to the mother especially to her unborn child. When a pregnant woman never tries to end this habit, she can’t blame anyone for whatever may happen to her baby. Her body is her responsibility, and so is her child.

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1 comment:

  1. Smoking during pregnancy affects respiratory system of not only the mother but of fetus as well. The baby lungs grow immature and face difficulty in breathing. Nicotine and carbon monoxide are the two main ingredients of smoking which are majorly involve in developing of health risks.