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Quitting Smoking and Avoiding Smoke During Pregnancy

Table of Contents


Topic Overview

When you're pregnant, everything you put in your body can affect your baby. If you smoke, your baby is exposed to chemicals such as nicotine and carbon monoxide.

If you're a smoker and get pregnant, now is the time to quit. If you're not a smoker, avoid secondhand smoke. If you smoke and aren't pregnant but are thinking about having a baby, make a plan to quit before you try to get pregnant.

If you quit smoking before you become pregnant (or during the first 3 months of your pregnancy), your risk of having a baby with low birth weight is the same as that of a woman who does not smoke. Women who quit later in their pregnancy still reduce the risk of problems for their babies.

It's also important to not go back to smoking after the baby is born and to ask others not to smoke in your home. This will reduce your baby's risk of having breathing problems.

Many programs are available to help pregnant women quit smoking. Ask your doctor or nurse-midwife for information on quitting smoking.

How does smoking affect your pregnancy?

Smoking during pregnancy may increase the risk of:

If your baby or child is exposed to smoke after birth, he or she will be more prone to illness and breathing problems.

What can you do to stop smoking?

Get ready.

Make a plan for quitting.

Get support.

Where can you find information and support?

If you're ready to quit smoking, congratulations. You are taking an important step for your health and for your baby's health. You can use these websites to find more information about quitting smoking:


Credits for Quitting Smoking and Avoiding Smoke During Pregnancy

Current as of: October 8, 2020

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Sarah Marshall MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Christine R. Maldonado PhD - Behavioral Health
Elizabeth T. Russo MD - Internal Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Kirtly Jones MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology


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