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Question
Posted by: Nic | 2004/01/26

Small for dates baby

Hi,

I recently went for a scan (I am now 34 - 35 wks pregnant) and discovered that the scan is showing that I am only 31-32 wks pregnant. I know my exact dates so there's no doubt about it. I smoke quite heavily unfortunately and my doctor has told me to quit immediately and come back to see him in 2 wks time. Will stopping smoking now really help? Should I get a second opinion? and what else could have caused this? Is my baby possibly deformed in some way? I am feeling very helpless and anxious as to whether everything will be o.k. Please explain why this happens and if there is something one can do?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageGynaeDoc

I think the most likely reason for your baby being small is the smoking. While the damage has already been done, stopping smoking now would prevent things from getting worse. the reason why smoking causes a fall-off in growth is that it interferes with the blood supply from the placenta to the baby.

Best wishes

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Our users say:
Posted by: 1st Time Mommy | 2004/01/27

Hi Nic

I also smoked in my pregnancy. I tried to smoke less than 10 a day but some days it was over.
One of the side effects is a low birth weight which isn't good for your baby.

I had my baby 6 1/2 weeks early and he was tiny and very skinny. I put him on lactogen formula so he could pick up weight, his going on 5 months now and his a very healthy chubby little guy.

I'm not saying what you're doing is right or wrong and if you can't stop then at least try to cut down as much as you can.
I know it's alot easier said then done, I tried but couldn't but I did cut down on the amount I smoked.

Drink as much water as you possibly can especially cause you smoke, drink at least 4 litres of water a day.

Good Luck
1st Time Mommy

Reply to 1st Time Mommy
Posted by: Sarah | 2004/01/27

You are selfish if you're smoking and have no will power if you can't stop for 9 months!

Your baby's health is in your hands and already you're not doing your best to give him/her the best chance in life!

I used to smoke very heavily and when I fell pregnant (the day the test was positive), I stopped immediately. I realised I was resposible for another life and I was not going to be selfish and do harm to my unborn baby.

So, use your brain and just stop now!!!!!!!

PS Sorry if this sounds harsh, my sister smoked all through her pregnancy and had big problems. Her baby girl was born very under weight and had lung & breathing problems. She developed a lung infection at 3 days old and died 8 days later. My sister still blames herself (having smoked heavily the whole way through).....

Reply to Sarah
Posted by: Kate | 2004/01/27

I am sure you have read many times during your pregnancy that smoking causes a low birth weight. And the proof is now right in front of you. Do you still need to ask if stopping smoking will help? Come on!

Everytime you smoke you cut off the oxygen supply to your baby and if you are smoking heavily this means that you are cutting off his/her oxygen supply frequently, no wonder the size is low and baby hasn't developed according to schedule. I am 34 weeks now and my baby is an average size of a 37 week baby. No smoking, no drinking, no bad stuff...it makes a difference. Stop smoking now and give your baby a few extra weeks to develop its lungs and grow a bit more. As Www said, if your baby is born prem and is very small and underdeveloped, the chances of survival are less.

Give your baby a chance!!!

Reply to Kate
Posted by: www | 2004/01/27

If the doc told you to stop, then you'd better stop. My gynae said I was okey to smoke a few (5 or less) a day, but she also said that the moment she noticed a retardation in the baby's growth, she'd tell me. She monitored this very closely throughout my whole pregnancy and I was lucky, because my baby was born at a very good weight and never had any problems. BUT I can tell you this, if she had told me that there was something wrong, I would have quit without even thinking about it. It WILL make a difference if you quit now - you can always start again later, but for the health of your baby, please quit. Your baby will have the chance to get "up to date" with it's growing. Low birthweight babies have a bigger chance for infections after birth as well as that they struggle to warm themselves and the chance that the lungs are not mature yet. Another risk of smoking is that the placenta could calcify and therefore rupture earlier than it should, causing you to go into earlier labour, and if your baby is underweight it decreases the chances for baby's wellbeing/survival. Just give it a chance to grow now. (Believe me, I'm a smoker, I know it's a daunting idea, but think of your baby now.)

Reply to www
Posted by: Kippie | 2004/01/27

Hi
I agree with Purple. Remember the lungs only mature very late in pregnancy and to provide enough oxygen to your baby, it is imperative that you stop smoking immediately.
I would not take any chances on this if a doctor advised me to stop smoking- it is only a few more weeks to go - please adhire to his request!!!

Reply to Kippie
Posted by: Purple | 2004/01/26

One of the risks of smoking during pregnancy is low birth weight babies, which have many associated risks (I don't know what they are though).
I'm sure that stopping now will make some difference as it will give your baby a chance to get more oxygen, and will mean that nicotine is no longer being pumped into the baby.

Reply to Purple

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