Pregnancy and Tobacco

How Smoking Affects Pregnancy

As a mother, you want to protect and nurture your baby. Quitting smoking is the most important step a woman can take to improve both her health and the health of her baby.

Smoking can cause complications during your pregnancy, such as:

  • Miscarriage
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Placental abruption
  • Placenta previa
  • Preeclampsia
  • Preterm birth

Benefits of Quitting

Quitting before you give birth will give your baby these benefits:

  • Less risk of being born too early.
  • Less risk of being born with birth defects like cleft lip or cleft palate.
  • Higher chance of having a healthy birth weight (more than 5.5 pounds) and growing on track.
  • More likely to come home from the hospital with you. Babies who are too small or who need care for health problems may need to stay in the hospital until they are healthy enough to go home.
  • Increased chance lungs will develop well.
  • More likely to have normal brain development before birth and through early childhood.
  • Less likely to die from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
  • Staying smokefree after birth leads to…
  • Fewer coughs and chest colds.
  • Lower chances of getting bronchitis or pneumonia.
  • Fewer ear infections.
  • Less frequent and less severe asthma, if they have asthma.
  • Fewer missed school days because of asthma attacks and breathing illnesses.
  • Less of a chance of becoming smokers as adults.
  • Lower chances of dying from SIDS.


Additional Resources