Smoking and Pregnancy: 8 Facts You Want to Know

by Dr Antonio Howell, MD

in quit smoking

Dr. Howell

Smoking is extremely dangerous to one’s health especially to pregnant women. Below are 9 myths and facts about smoking and your pregnancy.


Myth: There is no problem in having babies with low birth weight.

In Fact: Babies with low birth weight are more vulnerable to serious health problems compared to babies having normal weight. And this can affect your baby’s overall health as an infant or as an adult. Pregnancy smoking increases the possibility of low birth weight in babies.Pregnant woman stops smoking


Myth: There is no point in quitting smoking now, it’s the 2nd quarter of the pregnancy and damage has already been done.


In Fact: If you quit smoking now, your baby’s the risk of having low birth weight will be similar to those babies with non-smoking mothers. It also increases the possibility that your baby’s lungs will work normally. Quitting smoking at any stage of the pregnancy is very beneficial for both the mother and the child.

Myth: Smoking help you relax, this is good for you and your baby.

In Fact: You may feel relaxed after a few cigarettes, but the results to your body and the baby inside your womb are rather the opposite. Nicotine drastically increases your heart rate and blood pressure. With your every puff the carbon monoxide in the bloodstream is increased, limiting the availability of oxygen to your baby.

Myth: It will be very stressful for the baby if you quit smoking.

In Fact: Smoking during pregnancy is harmful to your baby. Quitting does not cause extra stress. Giving up smoking is actually one of the greatest things you can do ensure that safety and good health of your baby during its prenatal development and after its birth. By quitting, you protect your baby from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke and reduce the risk of SIDS or sudden infant death syndrome.

Myth: Reducing the number of cigarette you smoke while pregnant is good enough.

In Fact: Smoking is dangerous and there is no such thing as safe smoking. A few cigarettes each day is harmful enough to cause damage to your and your baby’s health. It’s never late to quit. Quitting smoking at any stage of your pregnancy is expected to lessen the harmful effects of smoking both on your baby and your health.

Myth: You will gain too much weight if you quit smoking.

In Fact: Most women are anxious of gaining weight after they stop smoking. Weight gain is normal and ordinary in a healthy pregnancy. The increase in your calorie intake during pregnancy is only normal and healthy. The increase in your appetite allows you to get the vitamins and minerals that you and your baby necessitate. Consult your doctor on how much weight gain is normal and healthy for your pregnancy.

Myth: Your only option is to quit cold turkey.

In Fact: There are other available options for you to quit smoking aside from quitting cold turkey. Pregnant women do have other choices to ensure that they become and stay nicotine-free. Pregnant women who want to quit smoking must consult their doctors before using any medications (“herbal products” included).

Myth: You cannot breastfeed your baby if you smoke.

In Fact: Mothers who smoke must continue to breastfeed their babies, but are highly encouraged to quit smoking. Breast milk is healthy for babies. It contains the necessary nourishment the baby requires for healthy growth and development.


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