Pregnant women are advised not to smoke cigarettes or expose themselves to second-hand smoke (from other smokers).
During your pregnancy, your prenatal care provider will ask you some questions about whether you smoke, drink alcohol, or use drugs. You may feel guilty or uncomfortable or worry about being judged if you use any of these products. Rest assured, however, that the purpose of these questions is to give you an opportunity to get the information you need, talk about your concerns, receive prenatal care that takes your situation into account, and seek help if you want to quit.
Pregnancy is a good time to quit smoking. The dangers of tobacco for the fetus, baby, and mother are real. The more cigarettes smoked, the greater the risks for the baby but there’s no safe level of cigarette use during pregnancy.
Smoking harms the development of the fetus and can impact the pregnancy in the following ways:
- It increases the risk of placental abruption (detachment of the placenta), premature rupture of the amniotic sac, and premature birth.
- It can slow fetal growth and result in lower birth weight.
- It increases the risk of having a stillborn baby or a baby who dies in the days following birth..
- It also increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome.
If you have friends and family who smoke, ask them to smoke outdoors so that you and your baby won’t be exposed to tobacco smoke.
For most smokers, smoking is an addiction that can be hard to kick. Talk to your health professional, he can help.
A telephone helpline, website, and numerous quit‑smoking centres offer their services free of charge to the public. To access the helpline service and find the centre nearest you:
It’s never too late to quit smoking. Your baby will benefit, regardless of when during your pregnancy you actually quit.
Use of electronic cigarettes (aka e-cigarettes, vapes, or vaping products) during pregnancy is not recommended, as very few studies have been conducted to assess their effects on pregnant women and the fetus.
For pregnant women who want to quit tobacco cigarettes, there are effective options that are safer than electronic cigarettes. Don’t hesitate to talk to a health professional.
Fetus: Developmental stage of a human being in its mother’s womb, from 10 weeks of pregnancy until birth.
Sudden infant death syndrome: The unexplainable sudden death of an apparently healthy newborn under the age of one.