Smoking can affect the mother-to-be as well as the fetus. Low birth weight is one of the commonest complications. Smoking harms the unborn child’s respiratory and abdominal tracts. Neurological abnormalities and birth defects have also been reported. IUGR (intrauterine growth retardation) is a known side effect. The risk of post-natal infections too is multiplied. Few reports suggest that risk of tumors (benign or malignant) may increase in babies with mothers who smoke.
Chances of unexpected abortions too are magnified. Passive smoking from a partner carries similar risk. Hence, it is imperative that the smoker starts with antismoking treatment as early as possible. Couples are encouraged to kick the habit before planning a baby.
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