Smoking is injurious to health of the smoker and affects those around too. Little infants at home and in the womb of the mother are no exceptions. They are affected more than the grown ups and may suffer life long disabilities. They are in great danger of cot death due to insufficient Oxygen supply and restless nights.
Harmful effects of smoking on the baby
- Susceptible to SIDS: Since babies whose mothers smoke during pregnancy are more susceptible to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) compared to non-smokers. This is because the smokers’ children would be born with smaller airways. So these kids would have breathing problem as they cannot inhale enough oxygen. This is a good reason for SIDS to occur
- Chances of still births are very high
- Miscarriage can happen
- Premature delivery is a high probability
- Affects physical growth of the child: Smokers children are shorter and weigh less in weight compared to the non-smokers.
- Disturbed Night sleeps for the infants: Smoking during pregnancy reduces the amount of Oxygen content inhaled. Thereby the baby in the womb will not get sufficient Oxygen and it would increase the baby’s heart rate. Even after birth, the child would not be able to intake sufficient oxygen for a good night sleep. Therefore, would suffer from disturbed sleep in the night.
- Respiratory problem and infection: Infants exposed to smoke before or after birth may suffer from respiratory disorders and other infections and may have problems sleeping through the night.
To avoid all these problems, pregnant women should not smoke nor stay around people who smoke. A latest study has found that with the increase in number of smokers in the household, the risks of SIDS increase for the baby. The more the infant is exposed to smoke more are the chances of SIDS and other health problems.
A smoke free atmosphere would keep the baby healthy and help to get good night sleep. The parents can also rest peacefully as they would have reduced the chances of SIDS for their precious little one.