Why Let Your Baby Smoke?

As a mom-to-be, you’re the supplier of oxygen and important nutrients to your unborn child. But if you’re a woman who smokes, not only are you depriving your unborn child of oxygen, you’re also passing along dangerous chemicals like nicotine, carbon monoxide, tar, ammonia, arsenic, formaldehyde, lead and hundreds of more harmful chemicals.

Gina Socks, licensed social worker, coaches pregnant women on the effects of smoking during pregnancy at Women’s Health Center at Robinwood. “There’s a misconception that just because previous generations smoked during pregnancy, it’s still OK to smoke,” says Gina. Smoking during pregnancy increases your baby’s heart rate and risk for lung problems and also increases the risk of birth defects, stillbirths, miscarriages or premature delivery.

Babies born to mothers who smoked also have an increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome, colic, asthma, childhood obesity and developmental disorders such as ADHD and learning disabilities.

If the health of her unborn baby isn’t enough for a mother to quit, the health consequences for women are staggering. Smoking is a leading cause of cancer and death from cancer. It also causes heart disease, stroke, COPD, aortic aneurysm, osteoporosis and other conditions.

How to quit smoking before or during pregnancy

The American Cancer Society’s Great American Smoke Out on Nov. 19 challenges people to use the date to plan to quit smoking and educates them on how to quit. Here are options to help you kick the habit:

Beat the Pack:Tobacco Free for Life is a four-week evidenced-based smoking cessation class presented in collaboration with the Washington County Health Department.

The CDC’s helpline, 1-800-QUIT-NOW, is a free telephone support line. Callers receive a personalized quit plan and information on smoking cessation medications and resources.

“There are multiple conditions that can occur when women smoke during pregnancy,” says Nelson Echebiri, M.D., obstetrician-gynecologist with Women’s Health Center at Robinwood. “But the risk of prematurity can be reduced when women quit smoking before or during pregnancy.”

Source: American Lung Association