Sample Health Care Paper on Smoking in Pregnant Women

Smoking in Pregnant Women

Smoking tobacco or cigarettes is a very harmful activity or hobby that people should strive to avoid. Significantly, individuals who are already involved with smoking tobacco should evaluate themselves and find appropriate means to quit smoking. Over the years, tobacco smoking has been associated with various health risks ranging from lung cancer, cancer of the mouth, throat cancer, heart disease, and many more complications. Smoking tobacco can be active or passive, depending on how a person takes in the cigarette smoke. Unfortunately, passive smokers are the most vulnerable group of smokers associated with smoking. Smoking is even more dangerous and fatal among pregnant women. Pregnant mothers who smoke either passively or actively have the risk of negatively affecting the unborn child’s life. Essentially, smoking in pregnant women puts two lives at stake: the life of the fetus and the life of the mother.

Impact of Smoking on Pregnant Women

There are various health issues related to smoking, especially for pregnant mothers. A pregnant woman who smokes continually puts her life and the unborn life at risk whenever she takes a puff of tobacco or inhales tobacco smoke. This is because tobacco smoke consists of dangerous chemicals that are harmful to the body like nicotine, acetone available in nail polish, ammonia chemical that is intensively used for household chores, and arsenic chemical used as rat poison.

Cigarette smoke contains other chemicals such as butane and benzene. Combining several chemicals in a cigarette makes the product very hazardous substances to consume among pregnant women. Essentially, the chemicals within the cigarette get burnt before they are realized to the body when inhaled as smoke. (Cope, 2015 p 238)

Impact of Smoking on the Fetus

Furthermore, pregnant mothers are at risk of shortening the unborn child’s life through a condition called SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Cigarette smoke harms the mother’s respiratory system, affecting the flow of oxygen from the mother to the fetus through the placenta. Consequentially, the child is deprived of enough oxygen, and its breathing ability goes down (Shinzawa et al., 2017). In this case, the baby’s chance to survive while inside the mother’s womb become lean. Also, smoking can lead to a child born before time or lead to the baby’s neonatal delivery. In other cases, smoking can lead to a baby’s birth with less weight that has much medical and health implications. Altogether, smoking increases the chance of health problems and concerns for the developing baby that can even cause congenital disabilities of the baby’s lips and mouth.

How Smoking Increases Health Problems for Developing Baby?

The development of the baby’s body parts in a pregnant woman takes place inside the mother’s womb. Consequentially, the baby depends entirely on the nutritional balance of the mother to survive inside the womb. For instance, the baby depends on the air, food, and fluids that the mother takes to survive (Zhang et al., 2018). Most of the mother-fetus nutritional exchange of products is facilitated through the placenta. Oxygen and Carbon (IV) Oxide flows from the mother’s body to the child and from the child to the mother, respectively, through the placenta. Therefore, if a pregnant mother eats dangerous food substances, there is a high chance that the baby in the womb will feed in the same products. This how the danger of smoking cigarettes is influenced by the baby’s negative development inside the womb.

Smoking tobacco can cause heart problems and difficulties in breathing for pregnant mothers. Unfortunately, whenever a pregnant mother has some issues in her breathing, there is the likelihood that the fetus will be deprived of enough oxygen. It is caused by smoke on the lungs causing lung problems, affecting the supply and oxygen movement within the body and the heart. Further, the effect of smoking on the heart can lead to heart failure or strokes (Walker et al., 2019). Subsequently, when the heart fails to perform its functions obediently, little oxygen is pumped to the body tissues and organs such as the womb. Due to heart failure, the body will not eliminate toxic gases such as Carbon (IV) Oxide from the body organs and tissues.

Similarly, a high concentration of CO2 will be available in the fetus’s bloodstream, which will affect its development and health. Smoke can lead to the mother’s sudden death if it is not well managed, leading to the fetus’s death. Smoking tobacco for pregnant women is a whole risky practice that pregnant women should voluntarily stop. It is essential to comprehensively understand that the risk of tobacco smoking for expectant mothers comes in two ways. Firstly, a mother can inhale tobacco smoke as an active smoker or inhale it as a passive smoker (Schilling et al., 2019). Significantly, both of these cases are valuable to put the health of the unborn at risk.

Preventive Measures and Resolutions

The most validated preventive measure for pregnant mothers that smoke is to quit smoking. When expectant mothers who smoke quit smoking, they can efficiently improve their unborn child’s health status. Also, pregnant mothers who smoke should go through counseling programs to help them bring up their child in an environment free from toxic substances like tobacco smoke. Similarly, through the counseling process, pregnant mothers addicted to tobacco smoking can be advised to go into rehabilitation centers (Rehab) to help them terminate the smoking activities (Stock & Bauld, 2020). In the rehabilitation centers, they will be provided with appropriate guidance to help them bring the unborn child more effectively and healthier in a rejuvenating environment.

Additionally, a pregnant mother can develop a healthier eating practice involving eating a balanced diet in their daily meals. A balanced diet helps boost the unborn baby’s immune system inside the womb (Chen et al., 2019). Furthermore, a balanced diet is appropriate in increasing blood and oxygen flow from the mother’s body to the baby’s developing organs and tissues through the placenta. A balanced diet should be rich in vitamins and proteins to boost the immune and build the unborn child’s body. Also, pregnant mothers who find it quite hard to quit smoking are encouraged to use vapes as an alternative. It will help in preventing the mother from inhaling a lot of dangerous chemicals found in the tobacco.


Overall, cigarette smoking is a health-risking activity for both the unborn child and their mother. Cigarette smoking causes several health complications among pregnant women that are transferable to the unborn baby. Primarily, cigarette smoking in pregnant women can lead to premature birth, death of the unborn baby, loss of weight of the baby during childbirth, and a baby with a deficient immune system. Essentially, pregnant mothers addicted to smoking are advised to quit smoking, eat a balanced diet, attend counseling, and go through rehab to facilitate the process of quitting smoking. Smoking is a dangerous leisure activity in all lives and should be avoided to protect many people’s health.




Chen, J., Li, S., Zheng, K., Wang, H., Xie, Y., Xu, P., … & Xu, G. (2019). Impact of smoking status on stroke recurrence. Journal of the American Heart Association, 8(8), e011696.

Graham Cope. (2015). How smoking during pregnancy affects the mother and fetus. Nurse Prescribing, 13(6), 236-241.

Schilling, L., Schneider, S., Karlheim, C., Maul, H., Tallarek, M., & Spallek, J. (2019). Perceived threats, benefits, and barriers of e-cigarette use during pregnancy. A qualitative analysis of risk perception within existing threads in online discussion forums. Midwifery79, 102533.

Shinzawa, M., Tanaka, S., Tokumasu, H., Takada, D., Tsukamoto, T., Yanagita, M., & Kawakami, K. (2017). Maternal smoking during pregnancy, household smoking after the child’s birth, and childhood proteinuria at age three. Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology12(2), 253-260.

Stock, S. J., & Bauld, L. (2020). Maternal smoking and preterm birth: An unresolved health challenge. Plos Medicine, 17(9), e1003386.

Walker, R. C., Graham, A., Palmer, S. C., Jagroop, A., & Tipene-Leach, D. C. (2019). Understanding the experiences, perspectives, and values of indigenous women around smoking cessation in pregnancy: a systematic review and thematic synthesis of qualitative studies. International journal for equity in health18(1), 1-10.

Zhang, B., Hong, X., Ji, H., Tang, W. Y., Kimmel, M., Ji, Y., … & Wang, X. (2018). Maternal smoking during pregnancy and cord blood DNA methylation: new insight on sex differences and effect modification by maternal folate levels. Epigenetics13(5), 505-518.