Smoking while you’re pregnant can cause serious problems. Your baby could be born too small or too early (preterm birth), have a birth defect, or die at birth or from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Even being around secondhand cigarette smoke can cause health problems for you and your baby.
Smoking can also cause fertility problems for you or your partner. Women who smoke have more trouble getting pregnant than women who don’t smoke. In men, smoking can damage sperm and contribute to impotence. (erectile dysfunction, or ED)
Possible harm to baby during and after pregnancy:
- Your baby may be born too small, even after a full-term pregnancy. Smoking slows your baby’s growth before birth.
- Your baby may be born too early (premature birth). Premature babies often have health problems.
- Smoking can damage your baby’s developing lungs and brain. The damage can last through childhood and into the teen years.
- Smoking doubles your risk of abnormal bleeding during pregnancy and delivery. This can put both you and your baby in danger.
- Smoking raises your baby’s risk for birth defects, including cleft lip, cleft palate, or both. A cleft is an opening in your baby’s lip or in the roof of her mouth (palate). He or she can have trouble eating properly and is likely to need surgery.
- Babies of moms who smoke during pregnancy—and babies exposed to cigarette smoke after birth—have a higher risk for SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
- Secondhand smoke increases a baby's risk for infections such as pneumonia. It also increases their risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
What Can You Do?
Pregnancy is a time of great change, to lifestyle, priorities, and the human body. It offers a wonderful opportunity and extra motivation to make some positive habit changes like quitting smoking — good for your growing baby, and good for you. Your body will go through a series of changes, and many pregnant women find theIr desire to smoke naturally diminishes during this time. So what better time to kick the habit than now!
💡 Jump straight to 👉 Quit Smoking LESSONS
Is it Too Late to Quit Smoking?
Not at all. While quitting smoking before or soon after getting pregnant is best, quitting at any time has benefits for you and your baby.
Why is Quitting Smoking Good for Your Baby?
- Quitting increases the oxygen to your baby, to help them develop and grow up healthy.
- Quitting improves how well your baby's lungs 🫁 will function.
- Quitting decreases your risk of having a low birth weight baby.
- Quitting lowers the chance of premature birth (being born early), especially quitting in the first trimester.
- Quitting lowers the risk of having a miscarriage or stillbirth.
Why is Quitting Good for You?
- If you're trying to get pregnant, quitting increases your fertility, making it easier to get pregnant.
If you're already pregnant: