Is smoking while pregnant harmful?
It is never safe to smoke. Smoking while pregnant:
- Affects the placenta—the source of your baby’s food and oxygen
- Lowers the amount of oxygen available to you and your growing baby
- Your baby’s heart rate
- The risk that your baby will be born prematurely
- The risk that your baby will be born with low birth weight
- Your baby’s risk of developing respiratory problems
- The chances of stillbirth
- The risk for certain birth defects like a cleft lip or cleft palate
- The risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
Additionally, children whose mothers smoked during pregnancy are at greater risk of:
- Behavioral problems, including Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Learning disorders
- Becoming smokers
Pregnant women who smoke should quit – if not permanently then at least through their pregnancy.
What Are the Benefits of Quitting?
Quitting smoking will help you feel better and provide a healthier environment for your baby.
When you stop smoking
- Your baby will get more oxygen, even after just one day of not smoking.
- There is less risk that your baby will be born too early.
- There is a better chance that your baby will come home from the hospital with you.
- You will be less likely to develop heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, chronic lung disease, and other smoke-related diseases.
- You will be more likely to live to know your grandchildren.
- You will have more energy and breathe more easily.
- Your clothes, hair, and home will smell better.
- Your food will taste better.
- You will have more money that you can spend on other things.
- You will feel good about what you have done for yourself and your baby.