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Smoking: Problems With Pregnancy

Overview

When you're pregnant, everything you put in your body can affect your baby. If you smoke, your baby is exposed to chemicals such as nicotine and carbon monoxide.

Babies whose mothers breathe secondhand smoke during pregnancy are also more likely to have health problems.

Smoking during pregnancy increases the chance of:

  • Placenta problems. (The placenta is an organ that gives the baby oxygen and nutrients from the mother and gets rid of waste.)
  • Preterm birth. The baby is born too soon.
  • Miscarriage or stillbirth.
  • Birth defects, such as a cleft lip.
  • Death early in life, mainly because of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
  • A baby with a low birth weight.

If you smoke, ask your doctor or midwife about ways to quit.

Credits

Current as of: February 23, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Michael F. Bierer MD - Internal Medicine, Addiction Medicine

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