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10 Reasons to Quit Smoking in Pregnancy

Save your baby and yourself.

By

Your baby needs you to quit smoking.

Your baby needs you to quit smoking.

Photo © claudiameyer - Fotolia.com
  1. Placenta Abruption
    This condition is where the placenta pulls off the wall of the uterus either before or during labor, necessitating an immediate delivery, usually via cesarean section. A smoker's placenta is thinner, making it more susceptible to an abruption.
    More on placental abruption.
  2. Placenta Previa
    Again because of the smoker's thin placenta, it is more likely to cover the mouth of the uterus, the cervix - placenta previa. This can cause bleeding during the pregnancy. It also makes vaginal birth dangerous and a cesarean becomes necessary due to the risk of hemorrhage of mom and baby.
    More on placenta previa.
  3. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
    Babies born to mothers who smoke are more likely to die from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
    More about SIDS.
  4. Preterm Labor
    If you smoke your body is more likely to try to end your pregnancy sooner by placing your in premature labor in an effort to protect your baby from the harmful side effects of smoking. The problem? Babies born even slightly prematurely have a greater risk of death and other complications. The sooner the baby is born, the more likely you baby is to die or have serious complications, including mental retardation and cerebral palsy.
    More about preterm labor.
  5. Stillbirth
    Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of your baby dying during your pregnancy.
    More about stillbirth.
  6. Low Birth Weight
    Birth weight is an important factor in your baby's health. The smaller the baby, the more at risk for many problems. In fact, low birth weight is one of the top reasons for babies to be ill and die in the first months of life.
    More about low birth weight.
  7. Miscarriage
    If you smoke, you could have trouble staying pregnant. It can also decrease your fertility.
    More about miscarriage.
  8. Colic
    Recent studies show that if you smoke your baby is more likely to have colic.
    More about colic.
  9. Respiratory Infections
    If you smoked during pregnancy or if your baby is surrounded by second hand smoke, your baby will be more likely to be ill, have asthma and other respiratory problems.More about respiratory infections.
  10. Premature Rupture of Membranes (PROM)
    Your water breaking too early is another risk of smoking in pregnancy. It can also lead to premature birth.
    More about PROM.

The good news is that no matter when you quit your baby is getting benefits, even if it is late in your pregnancy. So don't think you've missed your opportunity. Quit today for the most benefits to you and baby.

Contact your doctor or midwife. Have a heart-to-heart with them. Be honest, they are there to help you. They may know about programs available for pregnant women, or other support groups.

There are also many organizations to help you:

Readers Respond: Did you quit smoking for a pregnancy?

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