With smoking killing more women each year than breast cancer, it’s important to discuss the risks associated with smoking while being pregnant. Aside from an increased risk of lung cancer, smoking has other effects on both you and your baby.
Smoking can cause low birth weight, preterm birth, stillbirths and increased risk of birth defects.
Babies may grow up to have:
- Poor development of lungs
- Asthma and respiratory infections
- Increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
- Physical growth deficiency
- Intellectual development deficiency
- Behavioral problems
- Childhood obesity
- Infantile colic
If you smoke during pregnancy, you also have a high risk for:
- Placental complications
- Preterm labor
- Infections in the uterus
To increase the chance of delivering a healthy baby, you should quit smoking before or early in your pregnancy and avoid secondhand smoke altogether. Be sure to see your OB-GYN, midwife or other health care provider during your first trimester as this time is crucial to the normal development of the fetus.