Nicotine and Smoking
Smoking and other forms of tobacco are harmful to your baby-to-be as well. If you smoke, the sooner you stop, the greater your chances are for a healthy pregnancy. Smoking during pregnancy can increase the risks of:
Premature birth: Being born premature is the leading cause of neonatal death. It also increases the potential for problems with learning disabilities, mental retardation, and other problems.
Placenta previa: When the placenta covers parts or your entire cervix, you and your baby are at a greater risk of death from hemorrhage. It also necessitates a cesarean delivery for the birth.
Placental abruption: An abruption of the placenta means that it tears off the wall of the uterus. If not delivered immediately the baby will die and you may hemorrhage as well.
Breathing problems: Both immediately and throughout life, breathing problems like asthma are greater in children whose parents smoked during pregnancy or children who are exposed to secondhand smoke after they are born.
General illness: Babies of smokers are more likely to have ear infections, upper respiratory infections, and are at a greater risk of dying from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
It's estimated that about 426,000 women smoke during pregnancy every year — that's about 13 percent of all pregnant women, according to the American Legacy Foundation.
Smoking, and secondhand smoke as well, is a very serious matter. It is in your best interests and those of your baby-to-be to quit smoking in the planning phases. It's also helpful if your partner quits with you. Soon, you'll find even your health is better!