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
  • Increases:
    • 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.