Smoking is a purely individual choice. Exactly until there is a need not only to think and decide for yourself but also to take care of the baby who will be born in 9 months. We think today every woman already knows that smoking can cause significant harm to a developing organism. But what to do if smoking is already an integral part of your life, to abandon which seems to be something unreal? Are there any alternative solutions to the problem? Is it possible for pregnant women to smoke electronic cigarettes and is there a chance with them to at least partially replace smoking or to give up the bad habit?
Despite the literally unlimited access to information, there are quite a few women who are very skeptical about the warnings of doctors about smoking tobacco during pregnancy. Even if the daily number of cigarettes is not several, but at least one, such ill-advised behavior may well lead to disastrous consequences. Why? Let’s see a little.
The composition of cigarette smoke is about 4,000 different substances and compounds, more than 60 of which are carcinogens. The main danger is nicotine and carbon monoxide, which, in most cases, are the cause of complications in pregnant women. Nicotine constricts blood vessels, and therefore, the access of oxygen to the child is hampered. Moreover, in the process of moving, red blood cells transfer carbon dioxide partially instead of oxygen. The child receives much less oxygen than it should. Therefore, the electronic cigarette with nicotine during pregnancy – initially a bad choice.
In the process of smoking, all substances contained in cigarette smoke enter the blood of the expectant mother, and therefore to the child. That is, instead of useful nutrients, the baby receives cyanide, lead, and other harmful compounds. In combination with the lack of oxygen, this can lead to very negative consequences: developmental delay, growth, more frequent stillbirth (the probability increases by 2 times), low birth weight, premature birth.
Children whose mothers smoked increase the risk of developing congenital cardiovascular diseases by 20–70%.
Children born to smoking mothers often have lower levels of intelligence, and problems in their developmental speed are observed. As a result – behavioral problems, poor learning, slow development compared with other children.
How can give up harmful habits?
At first, the most important thing: ideally, quitting smoking is worth it before conception. First, it will increase the ability to conceive by about 40%. Secondly, you will not experience the stress of parting from a bad habit at that moment when you need to think about preparing for the birth of a baby. If having learned about your pregnancy, you still smoke, try to part with tobacco before the 14th week, because at this stage, the weight gain begins.
Smoking vapes during pregnancy can adversely affect the appearance of the unborn baby. This conclusion was made by researchers from the University of Virginia. An article with their research was published in the scientific journal PLoS One. As part of the work, scientists conducted experiments on the embryos of frogs – they are close to human ones because the development of embryos in both of them is determined by the same genes. The authors of the study in this regard believe that similar anomalies can occur in humans. Researches were conducted both for vapes with nicotine content and for nicotine-free ones. In both cases, the result was about the same.
An excellent way to do it is to enlist the support of friends, relatives, a loved one, and also be inspired by the example of people who have already quit smoking. Additionally, you can use nicotine patches, candy and chewing gum (of course, only after prior consultation with your doctor!).
Another method that has recently gained popularity is to use electronic cigarettes during pregnancy. The logic is quite simple: the composition of these e juices (Vaperevs suggests some) for an electronic cigarette instead of 4000 chemical compounds includes only 4-5 components: water, glycerin, propylene glycol, natural flavoring and nicotine (optional). That is, by eliminating nicotine from the composition, one can actually obtain an aqueous solution with the addition of several substances. Combustion and oxidation products, as a result, are not formed due to a different principle of operation.
Even though all components of the vape juices (except nicotine, which can be excluded) are either natural or used for medical, confectionery, disinfecting purposes, and are contained in a minimal amount in the liquid, there are no guarantees that they will not affect organism and fetus.
One thing is certain: electronic cigarettes do much less harm to the body than regular ones. Therefore, if you quit smoking at the moment you are completely unable to, for a while you can compensate for your need with a non-nicotine e-liquid with a neutral flavoring or with no additives at all. If you choose a liquid of minimal strength (superlight), be sure to drink milk after smoking, which will help to remove nicotine from the body quickly.
Nevertheless, it is impossible to perceive electronic cigarettes during pregnancy as a panacea, and without hesitation to use it right up to delivery. If you use this device, only as an intermediate short-term option that will help you as soon as possible to part with a bad habit at all.
The growing popularity and widespread use of this product on the market as a “healthy” alternative to conventional smoking makes e-cigarettes attractive during pregnancy. But still, according to CBS, the nicotine effects of electronic cigarettes can affect brain development in babies. It was also noted that the sphere of the electric cigarette is now of particular interest from different points of view. If all the same, you can not part with this habit, you can safely try to switch to nicotine-free e-soaking before pregnancy. In case of strong dependence, choose the least strong e juice with neutral flavors.
In any case, we are sure that no matter how strong your craving for smoking is, in caring for the health of your child you can always find in yourself reserve forces that will allow you to quit smoking at all, without using additional funds quickly!
About the author: Christina Matthews, the journalist who studies the latest news in the health industry. Now she studies the effects of smoking and vaping on health and reasons of such its popularity.