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Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Pregnancy And Smoking

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Pregnancy and Smoking

If you’re a woman who smokes, you will be familiar with how much you enjoy a cigarette. You probably enjoy one when you wake up, and you probably enjoy many more throughout the course of your day.Cigarettes are highly addictive, and whether you know it or not, they rule your life in many ways. You probably think about them almost constantly, and you’re willing to put your life at risk to have them even if you don’t admit to it.However, every woman who smokes can also become pregnant. If you continue to smoke throughout your pregnancy, you risk harming the child in your womb. Before you became pregnant, you were only harming yourself, but now you’re responsible for the life growing inside you too.If you smoke during pregnancy, you are more likely to birth a child who is underweight.Low birth weight babies are at greater risk for childhood and adult illnesses and even death. Babies of smokers have less muscle mass and more fat than babies of nonsmokers The child is also more likely to develop respiratory problems later in life.After the child is born, it doesn’t get any better. Infants eighteen months and younger who have second hand smoke surrounding them in their houses are responsible for up to three hundred thousand cases of pneumonia and bronchitis.Babies exposed to secondhand smoke after birth have double the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Babies whose mothers smoke before and after birth are three to four times more likely to die from SIDS. Smoking is responsible for raising the chances of getting lung cancer, and other types of cancer. If you smoke near your child, you raise their chances of getting all sorts health problems.Not only are the health risks a huge concern, but smoking can also cause all sorts of other problems as well.For instance, you could accidentally fall asleep with a smoke in your hand and burn your house down. It doesn’t sound likely, I know, but it happens several times a year across North America.You could flick your cigarette away and have your baby step on it, burning their foot. You’re first reaction might be to give them crap for not wearing shoes, but it would really be your fault. Your child could find the lighter and burn themselves or worse, burn your house down. Maybe they figure out how to light the cigarette themselves, and decide to try and smoke like Mommy.Remember, everything you do, is an example to your children. Is smoking really the kind of example you want to set?

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