Pregnancy Risks Associated with Smoking

By Collette A. Osuna

Most women who planned their pregnancies are elated when they first learn they are pregnant. Few are not fully aware of the risks involved to their unborn babies if they smoke.

Smoking not only leads to pre-term births, it contributes to genetic defects and breathing difficulties. A pregnant smoker is more likely to have their baby die before birth, than that of a non smoker.

Tobacco smoke contains over 4,000 different chemicals. At least 43 are known carcinogens, all of which are harmful to both mother and baby.

Over 100,000 people become new smokers daily and 12,000 are women; 13% of those women are pregnant.

Now is the time for women to become educated of the risks of smoking while pregnant.

Studies have shown that if all US women stopped smoking, there would be a 10% reduction in infant deaths.

Smoking early in pregnancy can lead to an ectopic pregnancy, where the embryo becomes implanted outside the uterus. Most ectopic pregnancies end in the death of the embryo. Ectopic pregnancy can pose severe health risks to the woman. Find more about treatment for Ectopic Pregnancy at

A women who smokes while pregnant is depriving her baby of necessary oxygen and nutrients. The placenta spreads further throughout the uterus becoming thinner, trying to seek out more surface area of the uterus to draw oxygen from, thus increasing the chances of placental abruption and placenta previa. Placental abruption occurs when the placenta separates itself from the wall of the uterus, denying the baby oxygen. Placenta previa arises when the placenta covers the cervix. Both of these high risk conditions are can be directly linked to smoking.

Researchers have discovered that smoking slows fetal growth. This risk doubles for babies of smoking mothers.

There is a higher incidence of SIDS related deaths in babies of mothers who smoke while pregnant (SIDS is sudden infant death syndrome). Babies who have been exposed to smoke, even second hand smoke, have a higher level of both genetic and learning defects.

Quitting smoking at any stage in a pregnancy is possibly thing a mother could do for the future health of both herself and her child to be.

For more information on quitting smoking, visit The American Lung Association

Written by: Collette A. Osuna
Collette Osuna is a free lance writer from the south eastern Michigan area. She is a single mother of two beautiful children. Her life's trials have given her an open mind and have sent her on a vigilant quest for the truth in all aspects of life, crushing lies and injustices through her writing.

"One of the things about equality is not just that you be treated equally to a man, but that you treat yourself equally to the way you treat a man."
- Marlo Thomas

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