4 Reasons Why Quitting Matters When You’re Pregnant

Sunday, November 25, 2012

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Now that you’re pregnant, people are probably asking you a million questions. Like when is your baby due? What are you going to name him or her? And maybe even when are you going to quit smoking?

It’s your choice if you're ready to try to change. But, you should know that smoking during pregnancy (even smoking a few cigarettes a day) means a lot of chemicals are hurting both you and your unborn baby's health and development.

If you smoked and had a healty pregnancy in the past, it does not guarantee your next one will be healthy, too. Everytime you smoke during pregnancy, you put your baby's health at risk.

Here are 4 reasons why quitting matters when you’re pregnant

  1. The placenta is the source of your baby's food and oxygen during pregnancy. Smoking cigarettes doubles a woman's risk of having placenta problems which could lead to pregnancy complications, putting both mom and baby in danger. Quitting lowers your risk of pregnancy complications, making a better chance of a safe delivery for you and your baby. 

  2. Pregnant smokers are more likely to give birth before their baby has had a chance to fully develop in the womb. If your baby is born too early, he or she may face serious health problems right away, be more likely to have long term health problems, or even die. Fortunately, quitting smoking decreases your chance of going into labor before the baby is ready.

  3. Babies of moms who smoke during and after pregnancy are 2 to 3 times more likely to die from SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome, also called “crib death”) than babies with non-smoking moms. When you stop smoking during pregnancy, your baby has less of a chance of dying from SIDS. 

  4. Smoking during pregnancy slows the growth of the baby before it is born and increases the chance of having a low-birth-weight baby (weighs less than 5½ pounds). Low-birth-weight babies often have health problems as a result of being born so small. Quitting smoking before you get pregnant reduces your chance of having a low-birth-weight baby to the same chance of a woman who never smoked. However, quitting during your pregnancy also helps your baby grow and have a healthy weight.

Smoking during pregnancy can mean serious effects for you and your baby. But, quitting can reduce these bad effects. And the benefits of quitting don’t stop there. Quitting can also improve your health and is an investment in yours and your baby’s future. Oh yeah, you’ll also have more money to spend on other things, like cute baby clothes and diapers. OK, maybe not for diapers, but something special for yourself!

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