This podcast describes the dangers of smoking during pregnancy for the woman and her unborn baby, and offers information about how to get help to quit smoking for good. Created: 12/14/2007 by National Center for Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD).
Date Released: 1/24/2008. Series Name: Birth Defects.
This podcast is presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC - safer, healthier people.
Most people know that smoking causes cancer, heart disease, and other major health problems. But women who smoke during pregnancy put themselves and their unborn babies at risk for other health problems. The dangers of smoking during pregnancy include premature birth, certain birth defects, and infant death. Even being around cigarette smoke puts a woman and her baby at risk for problems.
There are many health issues associated with smoking and pregnancy. For example, did you know that smoking makes it harder for a woman to get pregnant or that women who smoke during pregnancy are more likely than other women to have a miscarriage?
Smoking during pregnancy causes major health problems for the mom and the baby. For example, smoking is one of the causes of problems with the placenta—the source of the baby's nutrition and oxygen during pregnancy. Smoking during pregnancy can cause a baby to be born too early and have low birth weight, making it more likely the baby will get sick or die.
Smoking during and after pregnancy is one of the causes of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS. And babies born to women who smoke are more likely to have a cleft lip or a cleft palate, which are types of birth defects.
Quitting smoking can be hard, but it’s one of the best ways a woman can protect herself and her baby's health. Quitting before getting pregnant is best. But for women who are already pregnant, quitting as early as possible can still help protect against some health problems, such as low birth weight. It’s never too late to quit smoking.
It’s also important to quit smoking for good. Some women might think it’s safe to start smoking again after the baby is born, but these babies aren’t out of harm's way. Babies who are around cigarette smoke have weaker lungs than other babies. They’re more likely to have other health problems, such as infections and more frequent asthma attacks. And as mentioned earlier, being around cigarette smoke is one of the causes of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS.
Though quitting for good can be hard, the benefits are worth it—a healthy baby and many more years of good health to enjoy with him or her.
Free help and support are available for pregnant women and others who want to quit for good. Find the Quitline in your state by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or visit www.smokefree.gov.
To access the most accurate and relevant health information that affects you, your family and your community, please visit www.cdc.gov.