Smoking during pregnancy can be fatal to you as well as your child in the long run, say experts
It is an accepted fact that cigarette smoking can lead to serious health hazards. But smoking can prove fatal if you’re pregnant, because then, not only does it affect you, but also your unborn child. A recent Dutch study revealed that a baby born to a mother who smokes during pregnancy will have abnormally high blood pressure during the first few months of his life.
“Smoking during pregnancy is very dangerous. When you smoke, you don’t only inhale nicotine, but also 30 other harmful chemicals in just couple of minutes. This not only affects the mental health of the baby. But can also lead to hypertension in the child,” says Dr Shivani Sachdev Gaur, SCI Healthcare.
The Dutch study also revealed that the number of pregnant women smoking has fallen. Dr Urvashi Jha, a gynaecologist from Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals explains, “Smoking damages the small blood vessels. If a women smokes, it can cause serious health problems, even if she is not pregnant. These blood vessels supply the impure blood to the heart, which causes serious heart-related diseases. It can get worse if the woman is pregnant.”
Explains Dr Anita Gupta, gynaecologist, Women and Child Clinic, GM Modi Hospital, “Smoking during pregnancy causes high blood pressure in the unborn child, which makes his body prone to diseases like hypertension at a very early age of his life. Generally, most of us become hypertensive at a later stage in our life, but children suffering from high BP at a young age prone to hypertension even before they reach 40.” However, experts believe that a woman who is planning to conceive as it can cause heart attacks as well.