Smoking is dangerous while pregnant because it contains more than 4,000 chemicals in the smoke. It includes nasty things like cyanide and lead and at least 60 cancer causing compounds. When you smoke during pregnancy that toxic brew of chemicals gets into your bloodstream. You are harming your baby because your bloodstream is the baby’s only source for oxygen and nutrients. Two compounds are especially harmful to your baby. Nicotine and carbon monoxide are in cigarettes and are the worst. These two toxins account for almost every smoking-related complication in pregnancy. These two work together to reduce the baby’s source of oxygen. Nicotine chokes off oxygen by narrowing blood vessels throughout your body including the ones in the umbilical cord. It is like forcing your baby to breathe through a straw and then the narrow straw doesn’t even hold as much oxygen as it should.
A shortage of oxygen has the devastating effects on the growth and health of your baby. Your baby will probably be born if born at all at about 5 pounds which is too small. Healthy babies are usually about 7 pounds at birth. Just one or two cigarettes per day will increase the nicotine levels in the blood stream to do some harm. It will significantly tighten the blood vessels. A pack –a-day habit will shave off a pound of the birthweight alone. Smoking two packs –a –day will shave off two pounds of the baby’s birthweight. Ok so what woman wants to have to pass a big baby through her body anyway? Well, along with a smaller baby comes a smaller developed brain and possible long term brain damage which I am sure no woman or man really wants to deal with.
Small weight babies often have underdeveloped lungs. They will have to spend the first week of their lives in the hospital hoping that their lungs will grow. Small underdeveloped lungs leads to breathing problems in life. Asthma can be a life- long condition. There is also the chance that young babies will die in their cribs from SIDS Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. So, so far I couldn’t find or think of a single reason a woman should light up a cigarette or even be in homes, bars, casinos or restaurants where smoking is still permitted. It is not good for you and anything inside of you.