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Smoking In Pregnancy



What Are The Major Hazards of Cigarette Smoking To Me?

Cigarette smoking has been well shown to be a cause of lung cancer and chronic lung disease. In addition to heart disease and several other medical conditions, it generally aggravates certain existing medical conditions such as asthma and ulcer disease.

What Are The Dangers of Smoking While I Am Pregnant?

The most common problem is that smoking can keep the baby from growing well. Mothers who smoke are more likely to have smaller babies.

Women who smoke may be more likely to have certain bleeding problems, placenta problems, and leaking of fluid from the bag of water that surrounds the baby (amniotic fluid). These problems can lead to your baby being born too early (premature), and in some cases, there is a slightly higher chance of the baby not living.
Babies born to women who smoked during pregnancy seem to have a greater chance of having problems with being able to pay attention and with hyperactivity.

If I Stop Smoking Now, Can I Help Prevent These Problems?

Yes, the sooner you stop the better it is for both you and the baby. Remember, it is never too late to stop, and discontinuing the use of cigarettes later in pregnancy is better than not stopping at all.

If you would like help in quitting please consider our First Breath Program. It is a free program offered here at Moreland OB that provides you with support, education and great tips to help you to quit and stay quit postpartum. There are no additional appointments needed for this program. Visits are often coordinated with your regular prenatal appointments or it may be done over the phone.

Are Lower Tar And Nicotine Cigarettes Safer?
There is no clear evidence that these are safer. However, it seems that it may be easier to quit by gradually switching to lower and lower tar and nicotine brands.
What About Nicotine Gum or Patches?

As we’ve mentioned, nicotine is not a safe drug for you or your baby. In some cases, your doctor or other professional caring for you, may decide that the gum or patches could help you quit smoking. The gum or patches might end up giving you less nicotine and other bad chemicals than the cigarettes. Not all health professionals agree on using these items in pregnancy. Of course it is better to quit by yourself or with the help of a stop-smoking program.

If I Plan To Breast Feed Can Smoking Be A Problem?
Yes, breast-feeding mothers who smoke make less milk for their infants. As the number of cigarettes smoked daily goes up, the amount of breast milk goes down. Also, chemicals from cigarettes do get into your breast milk. This can lead to colic in your baby. Colic is seen when your baby cries excessively for a few hours a day, several days a week, without any cause that you or your baby’s doctor can find.
After My Baby Is Born Can Smoking Be Harmful To My Child?

Children who are exposed to cigarette smoke have a higher chance of developing lung infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia as well as other lung problems. If a baby already has a lung problem such as asthma, cigarette smoking will only make it worse. Babies who are in the same room as anyone smoking may have a higher chance of suffering sudden infant death syndrome, also called SIDS. SIDS is the unexplained death of an infant who seemed healthy.

If you plan to breast feed, it is best not to smoke at all. This will be good for your own health as well as your child’s health.

Copyright 1980, 1986, 1989, 1995, 1997 Advanced Medical Systems
Updated II, 18, 97

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