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STOP SMOKING DURING  PregnantNew Year, new baby, new, healthier you!  Most people know that smoking causes cancer, heart disease, and other major health problems. Smoking during pregnancy is especially harmful, causing additional health problems including premature birth, certain birth defects, and infant death.

Here are some facts about smoking and pregnancy:

  • Smoking makes it harder for a woman to get pregnant.
  • Women who smoke during pregnancy, are more likely than other women to have a miscarriage.
  • Smoking can cause problems with the placenta—the source of the baby’s food and oxygen during pregnancy. For example, the placenta can separate from the womb too early, causing bleeding, which is dangerous to the mother and baby.
  • Smoking during pregnancy can cause a baby to be born too early or to have low birth weight—making it more likely the baby will be sick and have to stay in the hospital longer. A few babies may even die.
  • Smoking during and after pregnancy is a risk factor of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). SIDS is an infant death for which a cause of the death cannot be found.
  • Babies born to women who smoke are more likely to have certain birth defects, like a cleft lip or cleft palate.

There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke. Breathing even a little secondhand smoke can be harmful. The only way to fully protect yourself and your loved ones from the dangers of other people’s smoke is through 100% smoke-free environments.

Quitting smoking will help you feel better and provide a healthier environment for your baby.

When you stop smoking:

  • Your baby will get more oxygen, even after just one day of not smoking.
  • There is less risk that your baby will be born too early.
  • There is a better chance that your baby will come home from the hospital with you.
  • You will be less likely to develop heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, chronic lung disease, and other smoke-related diseases.
  • You will have more energy and breathe more easily.
  • You will have more money that you can spend on other things.
  • You will feel good about what you have done for yourself and your baby.

Quitting smoking can be difficult, but it is one of the best ways you can protect yourself and your baby’s health.

Make 2015 the year you stop smoking for you and your baby!  If you or someone you know wants to quit smoking, talk to your doctor, nurse, or health care provider about strategies. For support in quitting, including free quit coaching, a free quit plan, free educational materials, and referrals to local resources, please call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669); TTY 1-800-332-8615 or visit www.makesmokinghistory.org.

For more information and to view an educational video, please visit the March of Dimes at http://www.marchofdimes.org/pregnancy/smoking-during-pregnancy.aspx#.

Written By:


Immunization Coordinator

Immunization Coordinator in the Bureau of Family Health and Nutrition

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