Smoking and Pregnancy: 5 Benefits of Stopping Smoking Now

by Dr Antonio Howell, MD

in quit smoking

The 3 Week Diet

Stopping smoking now and protecting your baby against the danger of cigarettes is one of the best things you can do so your little one could have a healthy start in life. Few moms realize it but pregnancy has the biggest effect on a child’s health. Numerous studies suggest that children whose moms smoked while they were pregnant are more at risk of developing serious illness, including brain disorders later in life.


The benefits of quitting are immediately felt the moment you stop smoking. If you’re a smoker and planning to have a baby, better drop the habit as early as possible, even before you start conceiving. If you just found out about your pregnancy, it’s okay. Just stop as soon as possible – because every time you puff, you are actually bringing in much harm to your baby.


Here are the benefits of quitting during pregnancy:

  1. First of all, you can better secure your child’s health. Many smoking moms think that cigarettes don’t really harm their babies especially after their doctors told them their little ones are healthy. But the effects of smoking could reflect later in life, meaning, when the child reaches adulthood. There have been several studies showing that adults whose moms smoked while they were pregnant are more likely to develop mental disorders. They are also generally less healthy than those whose moms didn’t smoke during pregnancy.
  2. You will have less ‘morning sickness’. This debilitating pregnancy symptom gets worse in women who smoke. Tobacco is a haven of hazardous chemicals that bring harm to your health. It causes chemical changes in your body, leading to an array of undesirable symptoms such as elevation of blood pressure and poor blood circulation. All these do not help, rather aggravate, your morning sickness. If you stop smoking now, expect for a safer pregnancy with less complications.
  3. Quitting reduces your risk of ‘stillbirth’. Smoking during pregnancy is one of the most common causes of stillbirth and miscarriage. It is also linked to sudden infancy death syndrome (SIDS).
  4. Your baby is less likely to be born underweight. The toxins in tobacco make it hard for the nutrients you take to reach your baby and keep him or her healthy and in normal weight. On average, babies of smoking moms are about 200g lighter than other babies. Underweight babies may have trouble keeping warm and are more prone to infection.
  5. Your baby is less likely to be prematurely born. Premature babies are vulnerable to so many health problems and complications, including infections. This is because their body, particularly their immune system, has not yet fully developed.

There’s no such thing as ‘it’s too late to quit’. Even if you stop on your last trimester, you still can benefit from quitting smoking. But of course, the sooner you stop smoking, the better.  You can save your baby from serious health problems and increase his or her chances of having a brighter and healthier future. Stop smoking today.


The 3 Week Diet

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