When you’re pregnant, you need to be extra careful about what you put into your body. People like to say that when you’re pregnant you’re eating for two, and in a way, that’s true. What you eat helps to determine what nutrients your baby receives, so eating a healthy diet means you’re giving your baby healthy food, too.
At the same time, dangerous substances that you subject yourself to while you’re pregnant can be dangerous for your baby. You probably have already heard that you should not smoke for two, but you may wonder what electronic cigarettes do. Read on to find out.
The Known Risks of Smoking during Pregnancy
Smoking has been shown to have devastating consequences during pregnancy. The nicotine in cigarettes has toxic properties and could interfere with brain and lung development in babies. Studies have also found that exposure to nicotine increases the risk of a baby dying from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS.
Nicotine is not the only harmful substance in cigarettes. There are more than 4,000 chemicals in the smoke from a single cigarette, 51 of which are known to contribute to cancer and 400 of which have been shown to be toxic. As a whole, smoking while pregnant has been shown to increase the risk of:
- Low birth weight babies
- Premature birth, which can lead to babies having lifelong health problems
- Abnormal bleeding that could be life-threatening for Mom and Baby
- Cleft palate and cleft lip in babies
- Ectopic or tubal pregnancy, which usually results in miscarriage
What Is a Vaporizer? What Is an Electronic Cigarette?
Before we get into the facts surrounding vaping during pregnancy, it’s important to define a few terms related to the vape industry:
– An electronic cigarette is a device that heats liquid to its point of vaporization so that it gives off a vapor that can be inhaled. Usually, the liquid called e-liquid or e-juice, contains nicotine. A true electronic cigarette is shaped and sized like a tobacco cigarette and is used for a set number of puffs until it is empty and needs to be replaced.
– A personal vaporizer for e-juice has the same basic function as an electronic cigarette–it’s used to produce an inhale-able vapor. The main vaporizer vs electronic cigarette difference is the design of the device. Unlike an electronic cigarette, a vaporizer (see: http://www.vaporplants.com/) is refillable, so you can choose what type of e-juice or e-liquid you use inside.
Vaping vs Smoking: What’s the Difference?
When you compare smoking vs vaping, it’s easy to see why generally medical experts believe that using an e-cigarette is safer than smoking. Vapor does not contain the same 4000 chemicals as cigarette smoke. While it will contain nicotine if you use a nicotine e-juice, vapor does not contain tar or many of the other toxins found in cigarettes. Studies have found that for normal healthy people, electronic cigarettes and vaporizers are easier on the lungs and not as likely to cause health complications.
Vaping during Pregnancy
There’s no question that it’s not safe to smoke when you’re pregnant, but there is not enough evidence yet to know for sure what vaping might do. Vaporizers and electronic cigarettes have not been around long enough for the completion of long-term studies into their effects.
Because nicotine is known to be dangerous during pregnancy, experts advise against vaping any e-liquid that contains nicotine. As a result, traditional, disposable electronic cigarettes should not be used during pregnancy.
Where experts don’t fully agree is whether or not it’s safe to use a vaporizer filled with nicotine-free or 0mg e-juice. Some doctors say that if using a nicotine-free e-juice in a vaporizer helps a woman to not smoke cigarettes, any potential risks associated with the device are outweighed by its benefits. Others advise patients not to use any type of vape device while pregnant.
Quitting Smoking While Pregnant
Electronic cigarettes and vaporizers are not approved as smoking cessation devices by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA); however, there is ample anecdotal evidence to support the fact that vaping does help people quit smoking.
Still, the risks of nicotine make vaping a less than ideal way to quit. Instead, women are encouraged to exercise more, join a support group, eat healthy snacks, and even see a therapist or hypnotherapist for help with quitting.
If these methods fail, nicotine replacement supplements, vaporizers, and other methods of quitting might be used, but only if a midwife or obstetrician recommends them. Never use any herbal, medicinal, or another type of product to help you quit smoking without talking to a healthcare provider if you’re pregnant.
In conclusion, the best advice about whether or not to vape while you’re pregnant is not to do it. As always, though, it’s important to get advice from your midwife or obstetrician regarding how to best take care of yourself and your baby throughout your pregnancy.