The umbilical cord is your baby’s lifeline. The blood that flows through this cord gives your baby all the oxygen and nutrients it needs to grow.
When you smoke a cigarette you inhale the gas called carbon monoxide which means that the amount of oxygen available to your baby through the umbilical cord is reduced, making the baby’s heart beat more rapidly and increases overall stress on its developing body.
Smoking can also reduce the flow of blood through the placenta, which limits the amount of nutrients that feed the baby.
Smoking, pregnancy and birth.
- Smokers have a greater risk of ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy outside the uterus) and miscarriage
- Smokers have a higher risk of having a premature baby.
- Smokers are more likely to have complications of pregnancy affecting the placenta.
- Smokers are more likely to have a low birthweight baby.
- Babies born with a lower than average birthweight are at more risk of infection and other health problems.
- Smoking during pregnancy increases the chances of the baby dying at or shortly after birth.
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