Are You Pregnant? Then Quit Smoking!

Lighting up can harm your baby. 

Posted: 06/06/2013 01:59 PM EDT

You should quit smoking anyway, of course, but pregnancy makes the issue even more important, due to serious smoking risks than not only hurt you, but your baby.

Recent research has shown that maternal smoking and alcohol consumption during pregnancy increases the risk of intrauterine growth retardation, obstetric complications and adverse health effects.

Maternal smoking during pregnancy also affects fetal birth weight and causes spontaneous abortion, abnormal bleeding during pregnancy, premature detachment of the placenta, premature rupture of the membranes and perinatal mortality.

But, this is only the beginning…

Babies born to smoking pregnant women are on average 200 grams lighter than babies born to non-smoking mothers because of the reduction of placental blood flow that results in a reduction in the nutrient level reaching the fetus. Fetal miscarriage has been found to be higher in such smoking women. Maternal smoking also induces preterm births.

Breastfeeding women who smoke have been found to have lower levels of prolactin, which is essential for the breastfeeding and thus, causes reduced breastfeed. Smoking in pregnancy seems to have an adverse on the physical growth and intellectual development of the child associated with a reduced height and intellectual attainments.

A study conducted to demonstrate the association between smoking during pregnancy and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) using prospectively collected data has shown that children of smokers had more than three times the risk of SIDS compared with children of non-smokers and the risk of SIDS increased with the number of cigarettes smoked per day during pregnancy.

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(Photo: Getty Images)

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