Is there a link between tobacco use and pregnancy problems?

Is there a link between tobacco use and pregnancy problems?

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Indeed, there are a multitude of health problems that are linked to the use of tobacco during pregnancy, and these problems harm not only the mother but also the embryo that is developing.

According to the WHO, “Tobacco use and second-hand smoke (SHS) exposure during pregnancy have adverse health effects on both pregnant women and their newborns.” Potential increases in SHS exposure and tobacco use among pregnant women pose a risk of reversing the fifty years of progress made in maternal and infant health.

Dr. Astha Dayal, who is the lead gynaecologist and obstetrician at CK Birla Hospital in Gurugram, made the following statement about risk factors associated with tobacco use:

Low birth weight:

Smoking while pregnant is a big risk factor for having a low-birth-weight baby. Babies born with a low birth weight are more likely to have health problems, both immediately after birth and later in life.

Preterm Birth:

Pregnant women who engage in smoking behavior are more susceptible to experiencing preterm birth. Preterm delivery can result in a variety of adverse health consequences for the neonate, such as respiratory complications and setbacks in development.


Smoking is associated with an increased risk of stillbirth, or the premature loss of a fetus, during pregnancy. The detrimental components present in tobacco smoke have the potential to exert adverse effects on embryonic development.

Placental Problems:

Placenta dysfunction can result from smoking, and the placenta is accountable for supplying oxygen and nutrients to the developing fetus. Insufficient placental function may lead to suboptimal nutrition for the developing fetus.

Respiratory Issues:

Respiratory issues, including infections and asthma, are more prevalent among infants delivered to mothers who engage in smoking. Exposure to tobacco smoke may have an impact on prenatal lung development.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

An elevated risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is associated with births by mothers who smoke during pregnancy. Although the precise mechanisms that connect smoking to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) remain incompletely elucidated, it is nonetheless regarded as a significant risk factor.

Developmental and behavioural issues:

Tobacco smoke exposure during pregnancy has the potential to cause developmental and behavioural complications for children, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), cognitive impairments, and learning disabilities.

Nicotine Addiction:

The developing brains of infants whose mothers smoke during pregnancy may be more susceptible to nicotine addiction in adulthood due to the effects of nicotine exposure in utero.

It is crucial that pregnant women are aware of the dangers associated with tobacco use and seek assistance to cease.

During pregnancy, quitting smoking can substantially increase the likelihood of a healthier outcome for both mother and child.

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