Women's Health

Smoking and Pregnancy


Pregnancy is a chance to quit smoking. Quitting reduces the risk of future health problems (e.g., heart disease, cancer, and other lung problems). 

Facts about smoking during pregnancy: 
  • When a pregnant woman smokes she inhales toxins (e.g.  Nicotine, lead, arsenic, and carbon monoxide). These toxins enter the placenta (the tissue that connects the mother to the fetus) and prevent the fetus from getting the proper amount of nutrients and oxygen it needs for growth.
  • Smoking during pregnancy can cause low birth weight, premature birth and infant death.
  • Second-hand smoke can cause problems to the fetus. 
  • Smoking during pregnancy can cause long-term health risks to the baby. It can cause a baby to get colds and lung problems, as well as have learning difficulties, and physical development problems.
  • If the mother continues to smoke after the birth of her baby, the baby may end up developing colds, coughs, and middle ear infections. Since babies have small lungs, smoke from cigarettes can make breathing more difficult for them. This can easily lead to bronchitis and pneumonia.
  • Second-hand smoke can cause serious problems for infants and young children.

Second-hand smoke (indirect smoking):  
It is the pollution that results from the smoke of a cigarette. These toxins accumulate over time. Second-hand smoke consists of gases and toxins that remain in clothes, hair, carpets, furniture, and curtains. Because the brains of babies and children are still developing, they are more susceptible to these toxins, and because young children are often close to surfaces on which these toxins accumulate, they are exposed to more dangers than adults. Consequently, pregnant women and young children should try to stay away from places where there is smoke.

The plan to quit: 
  1. ​Make a list of the pros of quitting smoking: 
    • Pros to the baby: 
      • Reduces the risk of the baby being born underweight or prematurely.
      • Increases amounts of nutrients and oxygen that the fetus receives.
      • Reduces chances of health problems. 
      • Increases chances of having the baby discharged with the mother to go home. 
    • Pros to the mother:
    • Reduces risk of future health problems (e.g. Heart diseases, cancer, and lung problems).
    • Saves money to spend on baby essentials. 
  2. Changing daily habits:
    • Replace the habit of smoking a cigarette after a meal with walking or reading your favorite pregnancy book.  
    • If you smoke when reading, replace that with drinking milk or having a light snack. 
  3. Support system: Having a supportive friend or family member can help you make a change.  It also helps to be closer to people who do not smoke. 
  4. Asking your healthcare provider for help: Your healthcare provider can help you find the proper quitting program or aids. 
  5. ​Set a deadline: This will be the day you throw away all your cigarettes. 
Tips for quitting: 
  • Keep your hands and mouth busy (e.g., chew a gum).
  • ​When you feel the urge to smoke, take a look at your list of reasons to quit smoking. 
  • Call a supportive person in your life whenever you feel like smoking. 
  • Avoid being around smokers. 
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Last Update : 09 August 2021 05:51 AM
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