Smoking cigarettes is very harmful to your health and could also affect the health of your baby. Not only does smoking cause cancer and heart disease in people who smoke, smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of low birth weight. Low birth weight babies are at higher risk of health problems shortly after birth. Also, some studies have linked low birth weight with a higher risk of health problems later in life, such as high blood pressure and diabetes. Women who smoke during pregnancy are more likely than other women to have a miscarriage and to have a baby born with cleft lip or palate, types of birth defects. Also, mothers who smoke during or after pregnancy put their babies at greater risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Mothers who smoke have many reasons to quit smoking. Take care of your health and your unborn baby's health: Ask your doctor about ways to help you quit during pregnancy. Intensive counseling has been shown to increase a pregnant woman's chances of quitting success. We don't know whether the drugs used to help people quit are safe to use during pregnancy. But we do know that continuing to smoke during pregnancy threatens your and your baby's health. Quitting smoking is hard, but you can do it with help!