New study links smoking to SIDs
We're all aware of the damage that smoking does to our own bodies, so the best thing you can do for you and your baby is quit.
Remember, once you become pregnant it is not just you who will be living with the effects of smoking. If you have tried to quit in the past and have been unsuccessful, then call the Quitline (13 18 48). Remember it is important for your partner to Quit as well. Maybe some of the facts below will help you along.
Smoking & Fertility
Smoking can affect your ability to conceive.
Smoking in men has been associated with a decreased sperm density and increased abnormal sperm morphology, while a British study of more than 17,000 women aged 25 to 39 found that smokers were 22% less likely to conceive per cycle compared to non-smokers.
In a speech given to The Australian Medical Association, Dr Sandra Hacker indicated that women who smoke have fertility rates about 30% lower than non-smokers and are about 3.4 times more likely to take a year or more to conceive than non-smokers
Call the Quitline to get help for both you and your partner to stop NOW!
Smoking & Your Unborn Baby
Smoking while pregnant can increase the risk of miscarriage and still birth.
In addition, pregnant women who smoke are also more likely to experience complications during pregnancy including placental problems, bleeding during pregnancy, premature rupture of the membranes, an increased risk of foetal abnormalities, spontaneous abortion and early delivery. Smoking has also been linked to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Nicotine and carbon monoxide from cigarettes can slow the growth of your unborn baby, reducing its oxygen supply and causing the baby to be born with a birth weight approximately 200gms lighter than babies of non-smokers. Low birthweight babies can fail to thrive and have an increased risk of complications. In fact, an Australian study in 1992 found that babies of smokers have a 24% higher rate of perinatal mortality with 85% of this increased mortality attributed to the higher risk of low birthweight due to smoking.
There is some good news though - quitting prior to becoming pregnant (or early in pregnancy) can still enable you to have the same chances throughout pregnancy as a non-smoker. The key is to stop as soon as you can!
Is passive smoking a problem while pregnant?
Yes. Passive smoking can also be harmful to the foetus, so you should avoid smoke-filled environments as much as possible.
What if my partner smokes while I am pregnant?
A study by the South Australian Health Commission in 1998 found that men were largely unaware that their own smoking could pose a specific risk to the foetus.
The study found that many men did not understand how passive smoking can affect the foetus, believing instead that the foetus is 'protected' inside its mother. A man's smoking can impact throughout pregnancy, from fertility issues through to a child's intellectual and behavioural development. The best choice is for you both to quit smoking before conceiving.
Long Term Effects of Smoking on Your Baby
Smoking can harm your baby's developing brain.
Studies of the children of women who continued to smoke during pregnancy have indicated that the intellectual development of the child can be hindered and that smoking during pregnancy can be linked to developmental problems and behavioural abnormalities in offspring.
In addition, exposure to tobacco smoke after birth has been highlighted as an independent risk factor for SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
Discuss issues about smoking with other Essential Baby members.