Is Smoking Bad During Pregnancy

Smoking Risks For Your Baby

Why is smoking dangerous during pregnancy?

Tobacco smoke contains chemicals that can harm babies before and after birth. Nicotine and carbon monoxide two of the most dangerous compounds in cigarette smoke work together to reduce your baby’s supply of oxygen.

Nicotine chokes off oxygen by narrowing blood vessels throughout your body, including the ones in the umbilical cord. It’s a little like forcing your baby to breathe through a narrow straw. To make matters worse, the red blood cells that carry oxygen start to pick up molecules of carbon monoxide instead.

Smoking during pregnancy increases your baby’s risk of:

Smoking During Pregnancy Can Cause Problems For Your Child In Later Life

Smoking during pregnancy can impair your childs health for years to come. Health effects may include:

  • higher risk of asthma
  • low birth weight, which is linked to heart disease, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure in adulthood
  • up to three times the risk of sudden unexpected death in infancy .
  • increased risk of being overweight and obese in childhood
  • increased risk of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder .

How Does Secondhand Smoke Affect Pregnancy

Secondhand smoke is the combination of smoke from a burning cigarette and smoke exhaled by a smoker.

The smoke that burns off the end of a cigarette or cigar actually contains more harmful substances than the smoke inhaled by the smoker. There is no safe level of secondhand smoke.

If you are regularly exposed to secondhand smoke while pregnant, you will have an increased chance of having a stillbirth, a low-birth-weight baby, a baby with birth defects, and other complications of pregnancy.

Babies and children exposed to secondhand smoke may also develop asthma, allergies, and more frequent lung and ear infections.

Smoke travels through vents and under doors. Even very brief exposure can make breathing problems worse for babies. Here are some things you can do to reduce your babyâs exposure while youâre pregnant and after your baby is born:

  • Donât let anyone smoke in your house.
  • Donât let anyone smoke in your car.
  • In colder weather, encourage smokers to use the same jacket whenever they smoke outdoors, and preferably leave it outside.
  • Keep your baby away from places where people smoke.

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What Do I Need To Know

Smoking during pregnancy harms both you and your baby. It can cause complications during your pregnancy and affect your babys development.

Quitting smoking before or during your pregnancy, or even after the baby is born, is the best way to protect your baby and yourself. Both you and your baby will benefit straight away.

What Are The Risks Of Smoking While Breastfeeding

HEALTHY: The Dangers of Smoking and Pregnancy

If you smoke while breastfeeding you risk:

  • lowering your supply of breast milk
  • your baby being exposed to nicotine through your breast milk
  • burning your baby with hot ash
  • affecting your baby’s development

If you do smoke while breastfeeding, then it is better to wait until after you have fed your baby rather than before or during a feed. This will minimise your baby’s exposure to nicotine and other chemicals in tobacco smoke.

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What If I Smoked Cigarettes Before I Found Out I Was Pregnant

Be sure your doctor knows you smoked before you conceived and early on in the pregnancy, but don’t be too worried. The good news is that if you stop smoking early in your pregnancy, you may be able to radically reduce the risk of harm to your baby.

The most important thing to do now is to get serious about your health and prenatal care and that includes quitting smoking. So get some help nixing that nicotine fix.

Health Effects Of Smoking And Secondhand Smoke On Babies

  • Mothers who smoke are more likely to deliver their babies early. Preterm delivery is a leading cause of death, disability, and disease among newborns.1,2
  • One in every five babies born to mothers who smoke during pregnancy has low birth weight. Mothers who are exposed to secondhand smoke while pregnant are more likely to have lower birth weight babies. Babies born too small or too early are not as healthy.1,2,3
  • Both babies whose mothers smoke while pregnant and babies who are exposed to secondhand smoke after birth are more likely to die from sudden infant death syndrome than babies who are not exposed to cigarette smoke.1,2,3 Babies whose mothers smoke are about three times more likely to die from SIDS.1
  • Babies whose mothers smoke while pregnant or who are exposed to secondhand smoke after birth have weaker lungs than other babies, which increases the risk for many health problems.1,2,3
  • Smoking reduces a womans chances of getting pregnant.1,2
  • Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk for pregnancy complications.1,2
  • Tobacco smoke harms babies before and after they are born.1,3

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Pregnant Smokers Vs All Adultsmokers

The CDC data showed wide state-by-statevariation in reported rates of smoking during pregnancy. West Virginia was thehighest at 25.1 percent, and California was the lowest at 1.6 percent. Itsinteresting to compare these with data for all adults who smoke because thereare some inconsistencies.

In West Virginia, the rates both of pregnantwomen and all adults who smoke are high. However, in Louisiana, the rate ofsmoking during pregnancy is less than 7 percent, and the adult smokingrate is almost 23 percent. It makes me curious whetherdoctors in Louisiana have strong programs to help women quit or whether thereis a severe stigma against smoking during pregnancy that has led to extremeunderreporting.

Sometimes health questions that lead toanswers that are considered unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking duringpregnancy, result in a bias of underreporting. Women might be embarrassed totell their doctors if they smoke or fear repercussions for telling the truth.Its vital to understand that the doctor is not there to judge you or get youin trouble.

Were here to help women have the healthiestpregnancies possible in their unique situations. In our clinic at UTSouthwestern, we talk to all pregnant patients about smoking. And if ourpatients do smoke, we discuss the risks to help them make the best choices forthemselves and their babies.

What Are The Potential Health Effects Of Using Marijuana During My Pregnancy

Smoking during pregnancy

Although more research is needed to better understand how marijuana may affect you and your baby during pregnancy, it is recommended that pregnant persons do not use marijuana.3,4

  • Some research shows that using marijuana while you are pregnant can cause health problems in newborns, including lower birth weight and abnormal neurological development.1
  • Breathing marijuana smoke can also be bad for you and your baby. Secondhand marijuana smoke contains many of the same toxic and cancer-causing chemicals found in tobacco smoke.5 THC, the psychoactive or mind-altering compound in marijuana, may also be passed to infants through secondhand smoke.6

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Secondhand Smoke Harms Your Baby

If your partner or anyone else who lives with you smokes, their smoke can affect you and your baby before and after their birth. You may also find it more difficult to stop if someone around you smokes.

Secondhand smoke can also reduce your baby’s birthweight and increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome , also known as “cot death”. Babies whose parents smoke are more likely to be admitted to hospital for bronchitis and pneumonia during their first year.

To find out more about quitting and to get support, your partner can call the NHS Smokefree helpline on from 9am to 8pm Monday to Friday, and 11am to 4pm Saturday and Sunday.

The Risks Of Maternal Smoking On The Child

Maternal smoking also promotes the development of respiratory infections and asthma. The incidence of wheezing episodes is thus estimated to be 45% during the first year in children of smoking mothers.

Finally, tobacco increases the systolic blood pressure of the newborn

Some researches have found a relationship between tobacco consumption during pregnancy and the psychomotor or cognitive development of the child. Thus, a study of 17,000 children demonstrated a significant decrease in reading and mathematics scores at the ages of 7, 11 and 16, and a low socio-professional level at the age of 23 in the group of subjects exposed to tobacco during pregnancy.

The follow-up of 1,265 children over 15 also showed a significant increase in behavioral disturbances in those whose mothers smoked more than 20 cigarettes per day during pregnancy.

However, it is difficult to assess the specific risk associated with the exposure of the fetus to tobacco on the brain development of the child indeed, other factors that can affect this development often coexist with maternal smoking.

Children of a smoker are twice as likely to become smokers themselves as children of non-smokers.

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What This Means For You

Though the study found that smoking while pregnant had its extreme negatives and minor positives, medical professionals dont recommend smoking while pregnant. It can lead to major problems not only during birth but also to long-term side effects.

For those who smoked before getting pregnant, pregnancy is a good time to quit for the sake of your baby. And though it will be hard to stay away from cigarettes after the baby is born, it is better for your health and your childs health to remain cigarette-free.

Where Can You Find Information And Support

Risk Smoking During Pregnancy Female Figure Stock Vector (Royalty Free ...

If you’re ready to quit smoking, congratulations. You are taking an important step for your health and for your baby’s health. You can use this website to find more information about quitting smoking:

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Second Hand Smoke And Pregnancy

All women are advised to quit smoking when they become pregnant however, research has shown simply quitting is not enough to eliminate the risks associated with exposure to cigarettes. Many women are exposed to second-hand smoke from friends and family members or the residue cigarettes leave behind. Second-hand smoking during pregnancy can have detrimental effects on the health of you and your baby.

When Can I Resume Smoking Weed

If you smoked weed prior to pregnancy, you may be able to resume after the baby is born. But, you should talk to a healthcare provider to determine what is best given your specific situation.

For instance, as Dr. Tishler explains, if you are breastfeeding, its best to avoid smoking weed. Cannabinoids do get concentrated in breastmilk, he says.

The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine explains that while data about the effects of cannabis exposure on infant development is sparse and conflicting, there is clear evidence that cannabis gets transferred into breast milk and absorbed by babies. In fact, tetrahydrocannabinol , one of the main components of weed, is present in breast milk at eight times the rate than in the plasma of moms who smoke it.

The other thing to keep in mind, says Dr. Jones, is that even if you arent breastfeeding, babies can be exposed to weed through secondhand smoke. As ABM shares, infant exposure to secondhand weed smoke has been associated with an increased risk of SIDS.

Finally, if you are smoking weed recreationally, you need to be sure that you are awake and alert enough to care for your infant if not, you should refrain from smoking or arrange alternative childcare.

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An Increased Risk Of Infertility

The toxic substances contained in tobacco damage DNA and human cells: smoking cigarettes thus leads to a decrease in fertility by disrupting sperm production in men and by reducing the number of oocytes per ovary in women.

Some epidemiological studies have shown that smoking delays conception by an average of two months and that this effect is directly related to the number of cigarettes people smoke. A meta-analysis of studies even found that smoking increased the risk of infertility in women by 60%.

Fortunately, this detrimental effect on fertility appears to be reversible: over time ex-smokers recover the same fertility rates of those who have never smoked.

The success rate of in vitro fertilization is also reduced. Stopping smoking greatly increases fertility and fertility.

Is It Safe To Use Weed During Pregnancy

Harms from exposure to tobacco smoke during pregnancy

Weed use during pregnancy isnt one of those gray areas in pregnancy where it should be mostly avoided, or where there are safer ways to do it. There arent smaller dosages that are considered acceptable either, and there are no known benefits that outweigh the risks of smoking.

The hard truth is that you really must refrain from smoking weed or using cannabis products throughout your entire pregnancy to protect your baby from health concerns, including stillbirth, prematurity, and brain development problems.

All major health organizations are in consensus about this, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Academy of American Pediatrics . As ACOG explains it, weed use during pregnancy is a problem, whether smoked or ingested, because the chemicals found in weed have been found to reach both the fetus and placenta.

Dr. Jordan Tishler, an emergency room physician, president of the Association of Cannabis Specialists, and CEO of InhaleMD, agrees that smoking weed during pregnancy is something all pregnant parents need to avoid, without exceptions. If you are planning to become pregnant in the future and are a regular weed smoker, you should plan to stop prior to attempting to conceive.

I recommend that women who are using cannabis for medical purposes stop using it 3 months prior to trying to conceive or immediately upon learning that they are pregnant , says Dr. Tishler.

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How Does Smoking Affect Your Pregnancy

Smoking during pregnancy may increase the risk of:

If your baby or child is exposed to smoke after birth, he or she will be more prone to illness and breathing problems.

Alternatives To Morning Sickness Treatment

Morning sickness, and especially hyperemesis, can be extremely uncomfortable and debilitating. Many moms wonder if smoking weed is a viable alternative, but as Dr. Jones described above, there isnt evidence that smoking weed will help with morning sickness, nor is it safe for you or your baby.

Instead, for basic cases of morning sickness, try lifestyle and dietary changes. Eating smaller, more frequent meals, staying away from strong smells and triggering foods, and getting plenty of rest can all help ward off the worst symptoms of morning sickness.

For more extreme cases of morning sickness and hyperemesis, ACOG recommends FDA-approved medication to treat nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. Talk to a doctor about what medications are safe and available to you.

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Preterm Labor Or Stillbirth

If you use weed during pregnancy, your baby is at higher risk for being born too early and too small. Research shows that babies born to pregnant people who are frequent cannabis users are 6% more likely to be premature and 13% more likely to have a low birth weight.

Babies are also at higher risk for being stillborn and 35% more likely to die within their first year of life. It’s still not fully clear to researchers whether higher rates of infant death is because of weed use or due to use of other substances along with weed, such as cigarettes or alcohol.

How Can I Quit Smoking

Smoking during Pregnancy Dangerous

There is no one way to quit smoking that works for everyone, since each person has different smoking habits. Here are some tips:

  • Hide your matches, lighters, and ashtrays.
  • Designate your home a non-smoking area.
  • Ask people who smoke not to smoke around you.
  • Drink fewer caffeinated beverages. Caffeine might stimulate your urge to smoke. Also avoid alcohol, as it also might increase your urge to smoke and can be harmful to your baby.
  • Change your habits connected with smoking. If you smoked while driving or when feeling stressed, try other activities to replace smoking.
  • Keep mints or gum on hand for those times when you get the urge to smoke.
  • Stay active to keep your mind off smoking and to relieve tension. Take a walk, exercise, or read a book.
  • Do not go places where many people smoke, such as bars, clubs, and smoking sections of restaurants.
  • Look for support from others. Join a support group or smoking cessation program, such as Cleveland Clinicâs Smoking Cessation Program. For more information, please call 216.444.5819, or go to http//
  • Ohio Quit Line: 1.800.QUIT.NOW or go to

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Why Pregnant People Should Avoid Smoking

Smoking is bad for everyone, let alone a pregnant woman growing a baby. Smoking cigarettes puts all kinds of stress on a womans system,” says Yen Tran, DO, an OB/GYN at MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, California. “When you add the changes that come with pregnancy, particularly the changes to their circulatory system, it increases the risks of bad outcomes.”

One of those outcomes is the smaller birth weight. This is caused by low oxygen supply from smoking, which can also result in a decreased risk of preeclampsia. That low birth weight, though, can lead to underdeveloped limbs and organs, according to Dr. Tran.

In addition to what the study published about the major birth-related concerns from smoking while pregnant, Dr. Feferkorn noted that issues extended to the mothers as well. an increased risk of wound complications and the need for hysterectomy was found, Feferkorn said.

Where To Get Help

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