smoking during pregnancy

While Carrie Bickmore is shutting down Steve Price about his breastfeeding comment, social media has been blowing up about a woman’s right to breastfeed whenever and wherever she wants. And while most of the population are supportive about women breastfeeding in public, there are still those that hate on the natural process.

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I would like to call all those who get so distressed about breastfeeding to jump on a new cause. The other day, I witnessed a woman, easily her third trimester, smoking. I was shocked. Knowing that there is so much research and support to show the problems that smoking during pregnancy causes, and rarely seeing women publicly smoke while pregnant, I was in disbelief.

Smoking during pregnancy is the number one cause of adverse effects on children’s health. Being born premature, being born too small and death before birth can all be avoided if a woman was to stop smoking during her pregnancy.

And I wasn’t the only one who noticed. Through the glass windows of our office, three other women saw the puffs of smoke escape the woman’s mouth as she talked on her mobile phone, causing a discussion about neglect for the unborn child that is trying to grow in her uterus.

Many have forgotten about smoking during pregnancy, purely because it’s not something the media reports on at the present moment, but it is still occurring, putting many more babies at risk of developing a debilitating disease. While babies who have suffered from cigarette exposure can suffer from problems at birth and infant death, the smoking also affects them later in life with children having a higher risk of asthma or decreased lung function, an increased risk of childhood obesity and an increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure in adulthood.

A decision of a woman to smoke during her pregnancy will cause health effects on her child for life. It has even been suggested as child abuse or neglect due to the fact that smoking harms an unborn child who has no say or rights.

In such a modern and sophisticated world with ample access to research and technology, I wouldn’t think we would be having this conversation, but as people forget what isn’t being publicised in the media everyday, we need to remember that smoking during pregnancy is very harmful.

If you need help quitting, you should see your doctor.

Image via jacquewatkins.com