If your spouse is a smoker, it is imperative that she give up cigarettes, at least while she is carrying the baby.
Here is a list of the ways in which smoking harms the unborn baby:
- It increases the mother’s risk of a miscarriage.
- It exposes the fetus to the toxins in tobacco smoke.
- It damages the placenta.
- It increases the risk of placental abruption (separation of the placenta from the uterus).
- It lowers oxygen levels in the fetus’s blood.
- It induces premature birth and lower than average birth weight.
- It causes the baby to be born with underdeveloped organs.
- It leads to impaired lung function in the infant.
- It doubles the baby’s rate of susceptibility to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
- It leads to general ill health.
- It increases susceptibility to diseases such as asthmatic bronchitis.
- It increases the likelihood of the child growing up to become a smoker.
While your spouse may realize the danger of smoking during her pregnancy, it may not be easy for her to give up smoking. Most smokers who try to give up their addiction suffer a strong craving for cigarettes. You can help her by reminding her that the cravings are only temporary, and by offering your moral support to her.
These are some things she can do to help your spouse give up smoking:
- Recognize and help her resist any craving to smoke.
- Help her fight the craving to smoke by distracting her with other activities.
- Discuss her addiction with her doctor.