The harmful effects of smoking on the human body are well known and documented around the globe. Smoking is particularly damaging to a developing fetus and so it is extremely important that both parents cease smoking when trying for a baby and beyond.
Tobacco and Nicotine are addictive substances and quitting requires strong will. Smoking not only affects the whole person’s health and physical strength, but also has a negative effect on the health of those around the smoker. Cigarettes and other ways of smoking cause a multitude oflung diseases including cancer as well as many other health issues, and have a negative effect on the sexual life and fertility of both men and women. Smoking to any level by either parent will have a negative impact on a woman’s ability to get pregnant as well as on her health during pregnancy and herunborn baby.
Smoking & Fertility:
In a British scientific study of more than 17,000 women between 25 to 39 years old, the researchers found that smokers were 22% less likely to get pregnant compared to non-smokers.
The Australian Medical Association indicated that women who smoke have fertility rates approximately 30% lower than non-smokers and are about 3.4 times more likely to take a year or more to conceive than non-smokers.
Smoking effects on your unborn baby and after the baby’s birth:
During pregnancy, smoking has a negative effect and can increase the risk of miscarriage, and several complications including; placental problems, spontaneous abortion, bleeding and early delivery.
The fetus may also suffer from abnormalities and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). He or she has a slow growth rate because of the lack of oxygen supply, which can lead to low birth-weight babies.
Quitting before or if unexpectedly pregnant as soon as you know, even during the early stages of pregnancy increases the chances to have a healthy baby.
Smoking can harm your baby’s brain development. Studies show that babies of smoking parents may suffer from developmental problems and behavioural abnormalities.
Set a plan and a deadline after which you will not smoke. Remove all tobacco and smoking associated articles from your home, car and place of work.
When the cravings hit try to distract yourself – try chewing gum, watching TV, reading a book or taking a walk. Cravings only last between two minutes and five minutes on average. So find something else to focus on for a few minutes. Do anything but simply sit there and wait for the craving to pass.
Supportive family and friends increase your chances of success, so ask for their support. Support groups and advice are also readily available to help you succeed.
If friends or family members are smokers, ask them not to smoke in front of you.
Avoid smoky places as passive smoking will also harm you and your unborn baby and make it harder for you to quit being surrounded by smokers.
Remember why you are quitting – a scan photo of your unborn baby can really help to keep you focussed.