Vaping & Pregnancy Risks: Understanding Possible Consequences
When expecting a baby, one would think that taking care of themselves and their unborn child by eating healthily, abstaining from smoking and avoiding risky activities is the natural course of action. But what you may not have been aware of is the increasing evidence of the potential dangers of using e-cigarettes, known as vaping, during pregnancy. This article will delve into the growing research on vaping and pregnancy risks, and the safeguards that can be taken to ensure the safety of both mother and baby. , Educational
What are the Vaping and Pregnancy Risks?
It is well known that smoking cigarettes during pregnancy can simply be harmful for both the mother and her unborn child. When it comes to vaping, researchers are still uncovering facts on how it affects pregnant women and their babies. While some experts believe that vaping is a less harmful substitute for smoking, others are cautioning pregnant women against its use, due to the lack of known effects.
When it comes to understanding the risks that vaping carries with it, pregnant women must be aware of certain factors. Studies suggest that vaping does not burn tobacco and thus, does not produce tar or carbon monoxide like cigarettes do. But along with nicotine, e-cigarettes also deliver aerosols which may contain some potentially hazardous chemicals. The exact effects of these chemicals on a pregnant woman’s health remain uncertain, since studies have not been able to accurately determine the effects of vaping, especially before pregnancy.
What do Studies Reveal about Vaping and Pregnancy?
Although more research is required to understand the exact implications of vaping during pregnancy, studies suggest that vaping has been found to slightly increase the risk for low birth weight among newborns. Another smaller study also suggests that pregnant women who vape are more likely to face premature labor, and stillbirth than those who do not.
Along with the direct effects of vaping on pregnancy, researchers have also highlighted the dangers of nicotine and its new alternatives. Although some flavored e-liquids do not contain nicotine, but may be replaced with other compounds that are just as dangerous to consume during pregnancy. Such compounds have been linked to an increased risk of developmental delay, congenital defects in babies and even some childhood cancers.
What are the alternatives for pregnant women?
Since the effects of vaping during pregnancy are still unclear, most health experts caution women against using them during this period. It is important to remember that during this time, even secondhand smoke can be detrimental to a baby.
However, if a pregnant woman is truly unable to quit smoking or vaping altogether, there are still some measures that can be taken. One of the highest recommended alternatives is nicotine replacement therapy, like nicotine patches and gums, which are designed to gradually help in quitting smoking habits, while being the least dangerous to the health of the baby and the mother. Instead of relying on flavored e-liquids and nicotine-containing products, pregnant women should consider these safer options.
Ultimately, since the effects of vaping on newborns remain largely unknown, and the impact varies from person to person, expectant mothers are encouraged to speak with their health advisors before using any form of vaping or smoking. But for a mother’s own and her unborn baby’s best, it is generally recommended to stay clear of both.