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How Smoking Affects Your Pregnancy

Finding out you are pregnant can be the incentive you need to make healthy lifestyle changes. If you smoke, one of those changes should be to quit smoking right away.

When you smoke during pregnancy, the nicotine and other poisons you inhale go directly to your baby through your bloodstream. This can cause problems during your pregnancy such as preterm labor, infections in the uterus, complication with your placenta and miscarriage.

Smoking during pregnancy is also damaging to your growing fetus in multiple ways, causing problems that include:

  • Increased heart rate in fetus
  • Increased risk of birth defects
  • Lack of oxygen in the uterus
  • Low birth weight
  • Preterm birth
  • Stillbirth

After your baby is born, they are still at risk if you smoked during pregnancy. Problems may include:

Even if you don’t smoke during your pregnancy, it’s important to limit your exposure to secondhand smoke and third-hand smoke, which includes the chemicals, particles, and gases of tobacco that are left on hair, clothing, and furnishings. Babies of mothers who are regularly exposed to the effects of secondhand and third hand smoke during pregnancy are more likely to have reduced fetal growth and low birth weight.

There is no safe level of smoking while pregnant. You can increase your chance of having a healthy baby if quit smoking now. If you need help to quit smoking, talk to your doctor or get encouragement, advice and tips from the Center for Disease Control at SmokeFreeMom.

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