Smoking During Pregnancy: 10 Reasons Why You Need to Quit

by Dr Antonio Howell, MD

in quit smoking

The 3 Week Diet

With more than 7000 harmful chemicals, cigarette smoke is dangerous to your health, whether you’re a passive or active smoker. If you’re pregnant or planning to have a baby, you’re at a greater risk. The toxins you inhale harms your unborn child, exposing it to several health problems as your child grows. Below are 10 reasons why you need to quit smoking if you’re planning to get pregnant or carrying a child in your womb.

Pregnant woman breaking a cigarette - stop smoking conceptYou’ll have difficulty getting pregnant. Studies have shown that women who smoke find it hard to get pregnant. So if you’re planning to have a baby soon, it is best if you quit smoking now and get healthy.


You are at greater risk of ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, and stillbirth. Though more research is still needed to finally link smoking during pregnancy to ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, and stillbirth, studies strongly suggest that similar risks are true to women who never smoked but are exposed to secondhand smoke or women who have recently quit.

You are at higher risk of placenta previa – a condition where the placenta is attached very close to the cervix. You are two times at risk of having this condition if you smoke during pregnancy. Women with this condition usually have to deliver their child by Caesarean section.

You are at greater risk of placenta abruption. This condition happens when your placenta prematurely detaches from the uterus. Placenta abruption may lead to stillbirth, preterm delivery, and premature infant death.

You are more likely to suffer from premature rupturing of the amniotic sac. Smoking during pregnancy increases your risk of premature breaking of the amniotic membrane, making it more difficult for you to sustain pregnancy.

You are more likely to give birth to child with low birth weight. Low birth weight is among the leading causes of newborn death in the US today.

Your baby is at higher risk of cleft palate and cleft lip. These birth defects are caused by poor development of the lip and the mouth during the early stages of pregnancy. Smoking at the early stage of pregnancy increases the risk for these defects.


You are at increased risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Long term smoking and smoking during pregnancy, increases your baby’s risk of SIDS. Exposure to secondhand smoke also increases your risk of SIDS.


Your unborn child is deprived of proper nourishment. Nicotine decreases the flow of oxygen and other nutrient in the uterus and umbilical cord. This can lead to poor fetal development.

Smoking damages your partner’s sperm DNA. Studies have shown that cigarette smoke damages the DNA in the sperm. It can lead to birth defects, miscarriage, and male fertility problems.

If you’re planning to have a baby sooner, or if you’re carrying a child in your womb and still smoking, it is for you and your child’s best interest if you quit smoking now. It’s worth the sacrifice and hard work to quit smoking. Give your baby the chance to have a good start in life by living healthy.


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