Vaping and Pregnancy: The Beginning of a New Life
How can vaping affect my pregnancy?
The effect vaping has on pregnant women is still a topic of research. However, nicotine use narrows the blood vessels, which can result in lack of oxygen and nutrients for the baby. At the same time, e-cigs contain chemicals that might be carcinogenic. Last but not least, secondhand exposure is also harmful to you and the baby.
Can I vape during pregnancy?
Nobody can stop you, but the safest option, according to experts, is to stay away from vaping and smoking. Vaping can lead to numerous problems, such as difficulties with the placenta, premature birth, stillbirth, low weight, nicotine withdrawal, and congenital disabilities. Vaping after pregnancy also has a negative effect on kids and may lead to vaping addiction.
Vaping and Pregnancy
Pregnancy is one of the most miraculous events in people’s lives. However, pregnancy comes with some physical restrictions and social changes that mothers endure. Campaigns promote no smoking and no drinking practices, which for some individuals are way too demanding. While it’s true that an occasional glass of wine, for instance, won’t harm you, it’s also true that leading a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy is crucial for you and your baby.
Although vaping has become a socially accepted habit and a trendy way to socialize, experts state that vaping is becoming a significant health concern across the U.S., especially when it comes to moms-to-be. Simply because vaping can have an adverse impact on the mother and her baby.
How Does Vaping Affect Pregnancy?
As e-cigs and vaporizers come in all shapes and flavors, vaping is something hard to regulate. In fact, up to 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration couldn’t keep track on all the hundreds of brands and thousands of flavors on the market. What’s more, vaping and pregnancy is a topic that has not been researched in-depth yet; it would be unethical to expose a mother to any potential risks. Thus, in the mist of all this variety and uncertainty, experts claim that it’s safest not to vape while pregnant.
Let’s start with the most addictive substance people worldwide use: nicotine. Okay, some vaporizers do not contain nicotine, but most of them, do. Note that experts revealed that some of the nicotine levels listed are misleading. As nicotine narrows the blood vessels, it might be harder for your baby to get all the nutrients and oxygen through the placenta. If a placental insufficiency occurs, an emergency c-section might be performed before your due date. Last but not least, nicotine is highly addictive and coping with addiction during pregnancy might cause additional stress on the body.
On top of that, e-cigs contain many chemicals and experts can’t be sure which toxins reach the baby and which not. In fact, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency revealed that some chemicals are carcinogenic. A study showed that after the e-liquid’s been heated, chemicals like formaldehyde are formed, which is carcinogenic.
Far from the physical health of the pregnant woman, vaping may affect her social health. As often any unhealthy habit during pregnancy is easily stigmatized by people, expectant women who vape may experience isolation or verbal abuse, which can cause additional stress to the body. Any burst of cortisol can hurt the fetus.
Can I Vape While Pregnant?
Nobody can stop you, but as mentioned above, vaping during pregnancy has a negative effect on you and your baby. If you’ve stopped smoking and switched to vaping as a ‘safer’ option, have in mind that studies show that people who vape are actually 28% less likely to stop smoking.
In fact, e-cigs are not approved as a smoking cessation aid, and it’s better to use other products, such nicotine gums, as there are more regulations on the products and research.
As nicotine exposure can cause brain damage. Illnesses like schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease can be a consequence of that exposure. Exposing a developing brain to doses of nicotine may start that damage early.
What about vaping with 0mg nicotine juices?
Though it seems like it should be safer to vape without nicotine while pregnant, there are some studies that show that it is equally dangerous. Since these are early days in the context of vaping, there are no concrete results that definitively say that it is 100% safe or unsafe.
Anyway, have in mind that staying nicotine-free is the safest option for you and your baby.
Vaping During Pregnancy: What Are The Risks?
Vaping can be harmful before and after birth. As mentioned earlier, one of the main risks is problems with the placenta. Placental insufficiency or placenta abruption can be fatal.
Other risks include:
- Preterm labor
- Low birth weight
- Birth defects
Children may develop further problems, such as:
Note that the newborn may go through nicotine withdrawal, which can lead to trouble sleeping, eating disorders, and irritability.
Therefore, many organizations, such as the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, recommend avoiding vaping and smoking during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Dealing appropriately with nicotine withdrawal symptoms is very important for the long-term brain development of the child. If your baby was exposed to nicotine while in the womb and is showing signs of nicotine withdrawal, then it is wise to take extra care in the rearing of a behaviorally vulnerable baby.
Vaping Near A Pregnant Woman
Vaping in public may harm any person. Experts claim that secondhand exposure is dangerous due to nicotine emissions and other chemicals in the aerosol.
More research is needed, but signs are pointing towards there being unsafe levels of nicotine for pregnant women in the second-hand vapor. This could be particularly hazardous when in a small space for hours per day surrounded by vapors. What’s more, secondhand exposure increases the risks of breathing problems and other health risks in kids. In teens, vaping can lead to copying the parental model and vaping addiction.
In conclusion, vaping is a popular trend, which hasn’t been researched in-depth yet. However, numerous organizations are urging the government to create proper regulations that would reduce the potential risks for secondhand vapors.
Although quitting is hard, remember that vaping can have a negative effect on you and your baby. Therefore, try to find the right treatment and social support you need during pregnancy and after birth. Light up the future of you and your little one.