Tobacco Smoke and Pregnancy

Smoking during pregnancy slows down your baby’s growth, keeping important organs like the lungs and brain from being as strong and healthy as they could be. Unborn babies whose mothers smoke are more likely to die before or after birth, to be born early, and to have low birth weight. Babies who are born early or at a low birth weight are weaker and may face serious health problems.

Quitting early in pregnancy is best, but no matter how far along you are, quitting now will benefit you and your baby. Here’s what you can expect to happen after you quit:

  • Your baby will get more oxygen.
  • Your baby’s lungs will be more likely to work well.
  • Your baby will be more likely to make it all the way to 39 weeks.
  • An increased chance that your baby will come home from the hospital with you.
  • Your baby will have a better chance of being born a healthy weight.

A word on sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)

SIDS is the sudden, unexpected, and unexplained death of an infant before age 1. According to the Surgeon General, secondhand smoke is a known cause of SIDS. Babies whose mothers smoked while pregnant were also more likely to die from SIDS.

Planning to become pregnant?

Women who smoke have a harder time getting pregnant than nonsmokers. Now is the perfect time for both you and your partner to quit!

To learn more about tobacco smoke and pregnancy, visit women.smokefree.gov.