Smok­ing in preg­nancy: Why it mat­ters

Ruapehu Press - - Your Local News - KAREN WALKER

Re­cently an ar­ti­cle on smok­ing and obe­sity in preg­nancy [Stuff, Oc­to­ber 2017] up­set many whanau in Tau­marunui.

The lat­est statis­tics from the Waikato DHB shows that Toko­roa, Te Kuiti and Tau­marunui con­tinue to have a high num­ber of women whom smoke or are obese in preg­nancy.

It is clear that many peo­ple do not un­der­stand why we care and why it mat­ters.

In New Zealand we want peo­ple re­ceiv­ing health care to make de­ci­sions and choices based on in­formed choice and con­sent.

This in­for­ma­tion is not to hurt or hu­mil­i­ate any­one, but to give facts so you can make choices for you and your baby.

‘‘I smoked in all my preg­nan­cies and the kids are per­fectly fine’’. This is a com­mon state­ment in the com­mu­nity. The truth is your ba­bies could not grow to their best po­ten­tial.

Some women be­lieve that it is bet­ter to have a small baby as this won’t hurt as much. The truth is big­ger ba­bies are eas­ier to push out and less prob­lem­atic. So why does it mat­ter? Every per­son has choices. Health pro­fes­sion­als must give you in­for­ma­tion so you can make choices based on ac­cu­rate and sci­en­tific knowl­edge.

When you con­tinue to smoke whilst be­ing preg­nant your baby is un­able to grow to its full po­ten­tial.

Your pla­centa/ whenua pro­vides kai and oxy­gen to your baby.

Th­ese pipes get squeezed tightly so your baby will get fewer nu­tri­ents.

This means your baby will strug­gle to grow as well as he should.

Af­ter your baby is born the mid­wife will check your pla­centa/ Whenua.

The pla­centa from a smoker will feel like grains of sand which means the pla­centa has lots of dead spots over it.

Most ba­bies born from moth­ers whom smoke in preg­nancy are low birth­weight or in­tra-uter­ine growth re­tarded.

Th­ese ba­bies of­ten get stressed dur­ing labour and birth.

Once born th­ese ba­bies’ find it dif­fi­cult to keep warm and of­ten have un­sta­ble blood sug­ars.

In labour the water around the baby is of­ten stained with meco­nium, this is your baby’s first poo and may mean the baby has been stressed at some stage.

The baby con­tin­ues to be ex­posed to over 700 poi­sons. Nico­tine is only one of the deadly poi­sons.

Your chance of mis­car­riage dur­ing your preg­nancy is much higher.

Your baby may die in the womb. This is called still­birth and smok­ing in preg­nancy is the big­gest cause.

Your risk of hav­ing a blood clot in your preg­nancy is higher. Blood clots can be fa­tal.

If you have a cae­sarean or a dif­fi­cult

❚❚❚❚❚birth your body finds it more dif­fi­cult to heal any trauma or wounds.

If you con­tinue to smoke when baby has been born your child have high chances of be­ing hos­pi­talised for breath­ing prob­lems and chest in­fec­tions in the first year of their life.

Your child is more at risk of dy­ing in their sleep. This is known as SIDS. We un­der­stand the ad­dic­tion of smok­ing and will pro­vide lots of sup­port to you to cut down or stop smok­ing.

We can pro­vide patches and gum to help you.

The Waikato DHB is start­ing a pro­gramme of in­cen­tives for preg­nant women whom are smok­ing to stop.

If you would like sup­port to cut down or stop smok­ing please talk with your mid­wife or doc­tor.



Smoke free mat­ters dur­ing preg­nancy.

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