What Are the Risks of Smoking During Pregnancy?

What Are the Risks of Smoking During Pregnancy?

I'm pregnant with my first child. But I'm worried because I've been a smoker since college and am afraid I won't be able to quit. How could smoking affect the pregnancy?
- Michelle

You wouldn't light a cigarette, put it in your baby's mouth, and encourage your little one to puff away. As ridiculous as that sounds, pregnant women who continue to smoke are allowing their fetus to smoke too. The smoking mother passes nicotine, carbon monoxide, and other chemicals to her growing baby.

If a pregnant woman smokes, it could cause:

As hard as quitting can be, it's vital to stop smoking as soon as possible. Talk to your doctor about options for quitting. Not only will you be keeping your unborn baby healthier, you'll also be well on your way to being healthier yourself!

Reviewed by: Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph, MD
Date reviewed: August 2015

Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

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Related Resources
Web SiteTobaccoFree.org This site includes links to online anti-smoking resources.
Web SiteQuitNet QuitNet offers tips, tools, and help for those who want to quit smoking.
Web SiteSmokefree.gov This site contains facts and information about how to quit smoking.
OrganizationAmerican College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) This site offers information on numerous health issues. The women's health section includes readings on pregnancy, labor, delivery, postpartum care, breast health, menopause, contraception, and more.
Web SiteThe National Partnership for Smoke-Free Families Supported by the Robert Wood Johnson, this program offers information and advice on helping pregnant smokers quit.
Web SitePregnancy on Womenshealth.gov Helping pregnant women learn what they can do before, during, and after pregnancy to give babies a healthy start to life.
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