- Women's Health
Foetal Tobacco Syndrome
There are many loving things an expectant mother can do to take good care of her growing baby bump. She can eat good food, get good rest, give up alcohol and stop smoking.
As well as being perniciously addictive, smoking tobacco inflicts many harmful chemicals on a smoker, and on to everyone around them. The chemicals that surround a smoker include;
Carbon monoxide (an oxygen blocker)
Benzene (a carcinogen)
Ammonia (caustic and hazardous)
Hydrogen cyanide (aka rat poison)
Formaldehyde (a carcinogen)
Nicotine (an insecticide)
Mothers who choose to smoke, or remain in smoky atmospheres, run the rise of having their baby develop Foetal Tobacco Syndrome (FTS). FTS has been a recognised medical condition since 1985.
FTS occurs when the following criteria apply;
1) The mother has smoked at least five cigarettes per day throughout her pregnancy.
2) The mother did not show any signs of abnormally high blood pressure (hypertension) throughout her pregnancy.
3) The baby is born small, demonstrating a low birth weight.
The health implications of smoking during pregnancy are potentially catastrophic. According to the UK’s NHS Choices site, smoking when pregnant can;
Increase the risk of pregnancy complications
Increase the risk of stillbirth
Increase the risk of the baby being born prematurely
Increase the risk of cot death
The long term consequences of foetal tobacco syndrome are still being discovered. At present, all we really have to go on are results from experimentation that has been done on animals. These studies show that nicotine is the key damaging chemical that maternal smoking imparts on to the babies. The offspring go on to suffer fertility issues, diabetes, obesity, hypertension, neurobehavioral issues and respiratory dysfunction.
If you are pregnant, and you are finding it difficult to give up smoking, think about what your baby would say if he or she could speak.
They’d want to trust that you are keeping them safe, and giving them the very best start. Life is hard enough, without being born poorly because of all the chemicals that are found in cigarette smoke.
Smoking while pregnant really isn’t worth the risk. Please don’t.