Why is smoking dangerous during pregnancy?

Robyn D. Stewart, DO
Family Medicine
Harmful effects from smoking can cause changes in the placenta and lead to serious complications. Watch this video with Robyn D. Stewart, DO from Parkland Medical Center, to learn dangers of smoking during pregnancy.
Jerry A. Lucas, MD
OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology)
There's no place for smoking during pregnancy says Jerry Lucas, MD from Chippenham Hospital, in this video. Smoking is dangerous during pregnancy and beyond because it's linked to many serious conditions for babies and children alike.
Mark P. Hyde, MD
OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology)
Mark Hyde, MD, an OB/GYN explains how smoking can damage a developing fetus and the numerous complications that can occur as a direct result of smoking while pregnant.
Smoking during pregnancy is bad for you and your baby. Quitting smoking, even if you’re already pregnant, can make a big difference in your baby’s life. If you need help to quit smoking, tell your healthcare provider.

Smoking during pregnancy can cause serious health problems for your baby, like premature birth (before 37 weeks of pregnancy) or birth defects. If you smoke during pregnancy, you’re more likely than other women to have a miscarriage or stillbirth. If you’re pregnant, don’t smoke and stay away from secondhand (smoke from other people’s cigarettes, cigar or pipe) and thirdhand smoke (what’s left behind from smoke that makes things like clothes and hair smell like smoke). Learn more at: marchofdimes.org
Coleen  Boyle, PhD, MS
Public Health & General Preventive Medicine
The dangers of smoking during pregnancy include premature birth, low birth weight, certain birth defects (cleft lip and cleft palate) and infant death. Even being around cigarette smoke puts a woman and the fetus at risk for problems. Quitting smoking before getting pregnant is best. But for a woman who is already pregnant, quitting as early as possible can still help protect against some health problems for the baby. It’s never too late to quit smoking.

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Smoking during pregnancy has been associated with miscarriage, stillbirths, premature births and low-birth-weight babies. Recent research has also shown that babies and children who have mothers who smoke around them have more respiratory-tract infections and may have some growth retardation and learning disabilities. Therefore, quitting smoking is strongly recommended. Talk to your doctor about programs available to help you stop smoking.
Ximena Jimenez
Nutrition & Dietetics

Smoking during pregnancy may harm the growing baby. It increases the risk of having smaller babies, delivering a pre-term child and even cause infant death. It is also linked to mental retardation and facial deformities.

Many women are aware of these health risks and still have a hard time quitting. One common reason is the fear of gaining weight since some smoke to control their weight.—If you are a woman of childbearing age who smoke, it will be wise to contact a health care professional that will help you quit. Also you may want to visit a registered dietitian that will show you how eating the right food is good for you and the baby.

Pregnancy and smoking are not a good mix. If you are pregnant or thinking about having a baby, there's no better time to quit smoking than now. Women who smoke have a harder time getting pregnant. If they do get pregnant, they risk losing the baby or having a stillborn baby. And babies born to mothers who smoke: may be smaller than normal at birth are more likely to die of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) may be cranky, restless, and get sick more often are more likely to have learning problems as they develop The good news is that quitting can help you have a healthy baby. It helps to quit any time during your pregnancy, but it's even better to quit before you become pregnant.

This answer is based on source information from the National Cancer Institute.

Continue Learning about Impact Of Nicotine Addiction On The Body

Impact Of Nicotine Addiction On The Body

Impact Of Nicotine Addiction On The Body

Nicotine addiction is just as strong as addiction to alcohol or cocaine, and it causes changes in the brain that make you crave nicotine even more. Once inhaled into the lungs through smoke, nicotine is absorbed into the bloodstre...

am and carried throughout your body. Nicotine can affect the heart, blood vessels, hormones and brain function. Learn more from our experts about how to overcome it.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.