6 Reasons why quitting matters when you are pregnant
Thursday, August 08, 2013
1. Women who smoke may have more trouble getting pregnant than nonsmokers. The good news is that your chance of getting pregnant goes back to normal when you quit smoking. You also lower your risk for many other serious health problems.
2. Smoking cigarettes doubles a woman's risk of bleeding too much during delivery, which can put both mom and baby in danger. Quitting lowers your risk of bleeding, making a better chance of a safe delivery for you and your baby.
3. 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, disabilities (such as cerebral palsy, mental retardation, and more likely to have problems in school) that will never go away, and even death. Fortunately, quitting smoking decreases your chance of going into labor before the baby is ready.
4. 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.
5. Smoking during pregnancy increases the chances of your baby having serious birth defects or disabilities, such as heart defects, short arms or legs, clubfoot, or cleft palate. Babies born with these problems require a lot of extra care and may need corrective surgeries throughout their lifetime. Luckily, quitting smoking before or early in your pregnancy lowers the chance of your baby developing a serious physical birth defect.
6. 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!