New mothers have a lot on their plates to worry about: getting the nursery ready, buying all of that stuff a new baby needs, reading all of those books on how to be a good parent and raise a healthy, happy child. But some mothers who are smokers have something else they have to worry about – the effects of smoking during pregnancy.
What Are The Most Serious Effects Of Smoking On A Pregnancy?
Unquestionably, the one who suffers the most because of the effects of smoking during pregnancy is the baby. A baby born to a woman who smokes has 30% higher odds of being born prematurely. Being born prematurely can cause serious complications: the lungs may not be fully developed yet, causing breathing diseases and many premature babies develop bleeding on their brain, which can cause brain damage. The effects of smoking during pregnancy can cause blindness or even deafness as well.
Another effect of smoking during pregnancy: a low birth weight. Babies born to smoking mothers are an average of 200 grams, or 7 ounces, less than babies born to mothers who do not smoke, and some infants are born with a more severe birth weight deficiency. The typical baby weighs around 6 pounds, and anything lower than 5.5 pounds is considered a low birth weight. Low birth weight comes with many negative side effects including an increased chance of illness and death.
Another effect of smoking during pregnancy is that the mother is about twice as likely to experience rupture of membranes, placenta previa and even placental abruption. All of these things are very serious – bleeding during a placenta previa or placental abruption has been known to cause a new mother to bleed to death on the operating table.
Smoking has an effects not only on pregnancies but also on fertility itself – women who smoke are almost 30% more likely to be infertile and they are about twice as likely as non-smokers to experience significant delays in conception. This is one of the most unexpected effects of smoking before or during pregnancy.