How does smoking harm your pregnancy?Not only is smoking harmful to you, it's also harmful to your baby during pregnancy. When you smoke during pregnancy, your baby is exposed to dangerous chemicals like nicotine, carbon monoxide and tar. These chemicals can lessen the amount of oxygen that your baby gets. Oxygen is very important for helping your baby grow healthy. Smoking can also damage your baby's lungs.
Women who smoke during pregnancy are more likely to have:
- An ectopic pregnancy
- Vaginal bleeding
- Placental abruption (placenta peels away, partially or almost completely, from the uterine wall before delivery)
- Placenta previa (a low-lying placenta that covers part or all of the opening of the uterus)
- A stillbirth
- With birth defects such as cleft lip or palate
- At low birthweight
- Underweight for the number of weeks of pregnancy
What is secondhand smoke?Breathing in someone else's smoke is also harmful. Secondhand smoke during pregnancy can cause a baby to be born at low birthweight. Secondhand smoke is also dangerous to young children. Babies exposed to secondhand smoke:
- Are more likely to die from SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)
- Are at greater risk for asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, ear infections, respiratory symptoms
- May experience slow lung growth
Breathing in these toxins at an early age (babies and young children) may have devastating health problems like asthma and other breathing issues, learning disorders and cancer. It's important that expecting moms and their children do their best to keep away from places where people smoke.