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The Risks of Smoking During Pregnancy and After

The Risks of Smoking During Pregnancy and After

According to a 2011 study (Pregnancy Risk Assessment and Monitoring System) approximately ten percent of women reported smoking during the last 3 months of their pregnancy. And only fifty-five percent of women who smoked, quit while they were pregnant, and forty percent of those women started smoking again after six months.

Smoking during pregnancy can cause severe health problems, including premature birth, certain birth defects and even death of the infant. Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage, it can cause problems with the placenta, it increases the risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, and it can cause a cleft lip or cleft palate. In addition, smoking makes it more difficult for women to actually get pregnant.

Second hand smoke is also incredibly dangerous for a baby. Pregnant women who breathe second hand smoke are more likely to have a baby that has low birth weight. Infants who breathe second hand smoke are more likely to have ear infections and more frequent asthma attacks. Infants who breathe second hand smoke are also more likely to die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

What are some of the benefits of quitting smoking?

  • The baby will get more oxygen.

  • The risk for prematurity goes down

  • It increases the chances that the baby can go home from the hospital with his/her parents

  • It will provide a healthier environment for your baby.

There are several programs available to help quit smoking:
1-800-QUIT-NOW
Baby and Me Tobacco Free: www.babyandmetobaccofree.org
Healthy Baby Steps: www.healthybabysteps.org

Information from: http://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/maternalinfanthealth/tobaccousepregnancy/

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