We all know you shouldn’t smoke while pregnant, but what about vaping? While it’s said that vaping is “safer than smoking”, research to prove this is still in the early stages. However, recently on October 8 there’s been almost 1,300 lung injury cases linked to the use of e-cigarettes and vaping products. This new finding further makes it evident that vaping while pregnant is not a good idea.
How Do Vapes Work? What’s in Them?
Whether you call it a vape pen or an e-cig, this device is a battery-powered smoking apparatus. The device holds a liquid (“e-liquid” or “juice”) containing different variations of chemicals. When it heats up, the liquid turns into a vapor that is then inhaled.
Each liquid or vapor will have different makeups, but in a general sense it will contain a combination of flavoring, nicotine and other chemicals. When heated, some of these chemicals can transform into more toxic compounds, like formaldehyde and acetone.
Aside from the typical vape juices, people also use essential oil vape pens. These will hold essential oils, which are compounds extracted from plants that encases the plant’s scent/flavor, combined with a carrier oil. Although they may not have nicotine, the chemicals in them can be toxic too.
What Are the Side Effects of Vaping?
Though there is less exposure to nicotine, it’s still present and any exposure is bad for a baby. Nicotine can cause birth complications and defects including: stillbirth, miscarriage, premature delivery, ectopic pregnancy, low birth weight, and even SIDS.
Other chemicals found in vapes, like mentioned before, are also harmful. For example, recent cases of vape-related illness and death have been linked back to vaping THC–the main psychoactive chemical found in marijuana.
Vaping essential oils can trigger: an allergic reaction, cause asthma aggravation, swelling of the throat, coughing, or bronchospasm. When heated above 150 to 180 degrees, the oils can morph into a different chemical compound and cause damage to any part of the body it comes into contact with while vaping–which includes your mouth, throat, nose and lungs. Even aromatherapy can be risky in the first few months of pregnancy–depending on the type of exposure and oil being used.
Am I in Danger of Second-Hand Vape Smoke?
Is there such a thing as second-hand vapor, like second-hand smoke? While people assume that bystanders being exposed to that cotton candy scented “smoke” is harmless, in reality it isn’t. The vape “smoke” releases a ton of hazardous substances. It can contain nicotine and other harmful chemicals, heavy metals like nickel and lead, and other ultra fine particles that can be inhaled deep into your lungs. This can also irritate asthma conditions in people who are exposed to it, like with cigarette smoke. As it is important to keep children away from smoke, it’s important to also limit their exposure to vaping–including yourself and your baby.
Vaping of any kind should be avoided if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or not pregnant at all. It is hard to know exactly what is in vape products and although they may be assumed as harmless, they aren’t. You may want to make your home and car vape-free spaces for the family as well as visitors. Looking for answers to all your questions about pregnancy and wellness? Schedule an appointment at any of our three locations!