Whether you are trying to conceive or already pregnant, it is very important to kick this habit for your health and the health of your baby. Smokers face an increased risk of lung cancer, other lung diseases and cardiovascular disorders. Research continues to link smoking to several birth defects and pregnancy complications so to ensure the healthiest pregnancy and baby we have provided information to understand potential complications as well as a list of organizations and websites to help you quit.

According to the March of Dimes (visit website)

– Smoking increases risk of miscarriage or stillbirth

– Cigarette smoke contains more than 2,500 chemicals. Both nicotine and carbon monoxide play a role in causing adverse pregnancy outcomes.

-Smoking during pregnancy is linked to congenital heart defects, cerebral palsy, low birth weight, preterm delivery and placenta previa.

-All smokers face an increased risk of lung cancer, other lung diseases, and cardiovascular and other disorders.

Quitting isn’t just limited to the mom Dads, grandparents and anyone who is in regular contact with a pregnant woman or new baby should also be very responsible and not smoke around mom or baby.  March of Dimes states that studies suggest that babies of women who are regularly exposed to secondhand smoke during pregnancy may have reduced fetal growth and may be more likely to have babies born with low birthweight. Pregnant women should avoid exposure to secondhand smoke and all persons should be aware and respectful and not smoke around expecting women.

How can a woman stop smoking?
The March of Dimes recommends that women stop smoking before they become pregnant and not return to the habit even after the baby is born. A woman can talk to her health care provider for support and advice to help her get through this challenging time. The March of Dimes supports a 5- to 15-minute, 5-step counseling approach called “The 5 A’s,” which is performed by the health care provider during routine prenatal visits. This approach has been shown to improve smoking cessation rates among pregnant women by at least 30 percent. Please ask about this program.

Some public health offices and doctors will give out free gums, patches and other items to help you. Find out what is available to you. You don’t have to quit “cold turkey.” Having support and a plan in place will help ensure success and hopefully a permenant, healthy change in your lifestyle.

What resources are available for pregnant women?

Guide to Quitting from the American Cancer Society

For more information on Smoking and Pregnancy, please visit March of Dimes