When you're pregnant, everything you put in your body can affect your baby. If you smoke, your baby is exposed to chemicals such as nicotine and carbon monoxide.
Second-hand smoke also is a problem. Babies whose mothers breathe other people's tobacco smoke during pregnancy are more likely to have health problems.
Smoking during pregnancy increases the chance of:
Babies with low weight at birth can have more health problems than those born at normal weight. Some of the problems can be serious. A baby with a low birth weight may have a greater chance for problems in adulthood, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease.
When you're smoke-free, you give your baby the oxygen he or she needs for a healthy start. And you protect your baby from the chemicals in tobacco smoke.
If you quit smoking before you become pregnant, your risk of having a baby with a low birth weight is the same as that of a woman who does not smoke. The same is true if you quit during the first 3 months of your pregnancy.
It's never too late to quit smoking. Women who quit later in pregnancy still reduce the risk of problems for their babies.
It's also important to stay smoke-free after your baby is born. Ask others to not smoke around your baby. Protecting your baby from tobacco smoke will reduce your baby's chance of having breathing problems.
When you're ready to go smoke-free, use these tips to help you quit:
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
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Current as of: March 16, 2017
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
& Michael F. Bierer, MD - Internal Medicine
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