Myths: Smoking and Pregnancy
Apr 27, · Smoking during pregnancy can cause your baby to have more colds, lung problems, learning disabilities, and physical growth problems. If a mother continues to smoke after the baby is born, the baby may get more colds, coughs, and middle-ear infections. Babies have very small lungs, and smoke from cigarettes makes it harder for them to breathe. By quitting smoking now, you will be protecting your infant from the dangers of secondhand smoke and reducing the risk of sudden infant death syndrome. Myth #3: Smoking fewer cigarettes or switching to e-cigarettes during pregnancy is OK. Fact: There is no safe amount of smoking.
Dangerous residue from tobacco smoke sticks to carpets, walls and other surfaces long after the smoke clears. You know that smoking and secondhand smoke smoke from a burning cigarette and exhaled by a smoker are unhealthy.
What is a common gateway interface another danger may surprise you — thirdhand smoke, which is residue that lingers long after you empty the ash trays. Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Thirdhand smoke is residual — or leftover — nicotine and other chemicals that remain on clothing and surfaces after someone smokes in the area.
Dangerous residue from tobacco smoke sticks to carpets, walls and other surfaces after the smoke clears. Researchers believe these lingering chemicals can harm your body just like smoking and secondhand smoke can. Research continues, but there are some things we know now, says pulmonologist Humberto Choi, MD. Researchers are investigating thirdhand how to help in global warming as they seek to understand some puzzling lung cancer cases.
Choi says. One study found that being exposed to thirdhand smoke may cause damage and breaks in human DNA. Researchers tested human cells in a laboratory rather than actual humans. But Dr. Choi says DNA damage is a real risk and can increase your chances of disease. When you smoke in a room or car, toxic chemicals like nicotine cling to walls, clothing, upholstery and other surfaces, as well as your skin.
Results of a study published in found that when this nicotine reacts with nitrous acid in the air, it forms carcinogens, which are compounds that can cause cancer. For this reason, the specific risks of thirdhand smoke are still not completely clear, he says.
This is particularly true for very young children who frequently touch objects and then put their hands in their mouths. This can increase their exposure to the toxic chemicals.
Non-smoking adults who live with regular smokers are also at a much higher risk for thirdhand smoke exposure. Choi says it may be helpful to study these individuals in the long term. Thirdhand smoke residue builds up over time on most surfaces it touches. It can remain for weeks, months or even years. Choi stresses that the best solution for managing the dangers of thirdhand smoke is to stop smoking.
Still, the best approach is to avoid it completely. Share this article via email with one or more people using the form below. Send me expert insights each week in Health Essentials News. Learn more about vaccine availability. Advertising Policy. You have successfully subscribed to our newsletter. Related Articles. Trending Topics.
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Dec 08, · Cocaine use during pregnancy significantly increases the risk of premature birth, meaning a baby is considered to be born too early (before 37 weeks). 7 Babies born preterm may have a higher risk of serious health problems. After birth, they may experience issues with cognition as well as problems with their heart, eyes, and other organs. During Early Modern times, West African Muslim scholars knew the negative health effects of smoking tobacco. The dangers of tobacco smoking were documented in the Timbuktu manuscripts.  Pipe smoking gradually became generally accepted as a cause of mouth cancers following work done in the s. An association between a variety. The latest research suggests you need 60–75 minutes per day of moderate-intensity activity to combat the dangers of excessive sitting. Hips and back Just like your legs and gluteals, your hips and back will not support you as well if you sit for long periods.
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Develop and improve products. List of Partners vendors. A teratogen is any agent that disrupts a baby's development when a mother is exposed to it during pregnancy. Known teratogens include alcohol, smoking, toxic chemicals, radiation, viruses, some maternal health conditions, and certain prescription drugs. Some teratogens are more concerning than others. How harmful they are depend on:. All parents should know what teratogens are and how to avoid them since they can cause harm throughout pregnancy, starting around conception.
Your miscarriage risk is higher when you smoke or drink alcohol or are exposed to radiation and certain toxic chemicals, for instance.
These and other teratogens are also linked to premature birth. These include physical malformations, like spina bifida, cleft palate, or microcephaly when the brain and skull are underdeveloped , or vision and hearing problems. Teratogens can also affect cognitive development. Babies born to mothers who drink alcohol or have certain health conditions, like thyroid disorders, have been shown to have lower IQ scores.
Teratogens can cause harm from conception to delivery, but often cause the most damage in the first 8 weeks of pregnancy. Teratogens can lurk in our house, garden, medicine cabinet, and even inside our own body. Knowing what these dangerous agents are is the first step to protecting yourself and your baby from them.
Here are some of the most concerning known teratogens:. Wine, beer, and all other types of alcohol can harm a baby during pregnancy. Alcohol passes through the umbilical cord to a developing baby, and cause stillbirth and miscarriage. Alcohol can also create a lifelong spectrum of physical, behavioral, and intellectual disorders, known as fetal alcohol syndrome.
Smoking reduces a woman's fertility, increases the risk for pregnancy complications like stillbirth and miscarriage, and is linked to several birth defects. Specifically, smoking can damage fragile, growing tissue in a developing baby's lungs and brains. Unfortunately, about 1 in 20 women take street drugs like marijuana, cocaine, and heroin during pregnancy, which is very harmful to fetal development. These drugs are linked to infertility, premature birth, miscarriage, low birth weight , and birth defects.
Even some doctor-approved medications can be harmful as soon as you conceive. Neurological drugs, like antiepileptic medications, can cause cognitive defects in babies, and blood thinners are linked to certain congenital malformations. Accutane, retinoids, and other skincare medications containing vitamin A can cause serious abnormalities, including cleft palates and intellectual disabilities.
A pregnant woman's exposure to some viruses, bacteria, and parasites can harm her baby. Some of the more dangerous infections are grouped under the acronym TORCH: toxoplasma often passed through cat feces , rubella German measles , cytomegalovirus, and herpes simplex virus. Risk for some infections is higher in certain geographic regions. Flu is not linked to birth defects, but the high fevers it can bring on are. More research is needed to determine the full effects of COVID on developing babies, but early data suggest its linked to premature birth.
Even in the womb, babies are sensitive to some invisible environmental forces. These include radiation, like from x-rays, or heat sources that cause your temperature to exceed degrees for a prolonged period, such as in excessive hot tub use or a high fever.
Pregnant woman are often inadvertently exposed to toxic chemicals in certain workplaces like industrial factories, dry cleaning facilities, and medical offices. Some dangerous substances that are used in these workplaces are heavy metals, organic solvents, and petrochemicals. Excessive exposure to household lead, like in old paint and construction, and dietary mercury, found in tuna and other big fish, are also known to cause neurological issues and cognitive delays.
You can have a physical condition yourself that can hamper fetal development, which is one reason your health should be closely monitored before and during pregnancy. Untreated diabetes can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, and fetal abnormalities. Babies born to women with unchecked thyroid issues can have lower IQs and motor skill problems.
Some teratogens, like certain genetic conditions, are tough to avoid. But there are many things you can do to steer clear of some of the most dangerous teratogens. Because teratogens cause harm starting around conception, it's a good idea to take these steps while trying to get pregnant or first learning you are pregnant:. In some instances, the government has enacted legislation to raise awareness of and reduce the risks of certain teratogens.
Many people have heard of thalidomide, the morning sickness medication commonly given to pregnant women in the s and soon found to cause malformations in babies' limbs, organs, and other body parts. Banned in , thalidomide was one of the first teratogens to be discovered and regulated to protect mothers and babies. Since then, tobacco companies have been ordered to include a Surgeon General's warning about the dangers of smoking during pregnancy on each cigarette packet.
Standards for the use of certain toxic chemicals that harm reproductive health, like lead, have been set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA.
There is no way to shield your unborn child from every potential developmental concern. But knowing about and doing your best to avoid the most dangerous teratogens, like alcohol and smoking, is an important step to give your baby the best possible chance of growing healthy and strong.
Scientists are hard at work to identify new causes of pregnancy complications, birth defects, and developmental delays everyday. So be sure to keep in close touch with a doctor about what you are consuming, where you are living and working, and where you might be traveling, from the moment you find out you're pregnant if not before. You and your baby will benefit from your efforts to do all you can to support a healthy, happy pregnancy.
Get diet and wellness tips delivered to your inbox. Children's Wisconsin Genetics and Genomics Program. Centers for Disease Control. Smoking During Pregnancy. Reviewed April 28, Alcohol Use in Pregnancy. Reviewed October 8, Cleveland Clinic. Reviewed July 22, Tantibanchachai, C. The Embryo Project Encyclopedia. Published January 22, March of Dimes. Updated March 31, Influence of infection during pregnancy on fetal development. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Reproductive Hazards.
Mercury and Pregnancy. Reviewed June Castori M. Diabetic embryopathy: a developmental perspective from fertilization to adulthood. Mol Syndromol. Published online Thyroid Disorders During Pregnancy.
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