Smoking During Pregnancy

Smoking during pregnancy has been linked to 10 percent of all infant deaths and can impair fetal brain and nervous system development. Babies who are born to women who smoke are three times more likely to die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and are typically born underweight. What some mothers don't realize is that an underweight baby can go on to suffer more health problems throughout its entire life than a baby born within the normal weight range.
Not pregnant yet but thinking about trying? Or have you just found out you're expecting? Stop smoking now.
Quitting smoking during pregnancy will:

  • Increase the amount of oxygen your baby gets
  • Increase the chance your baby's lungs will fully develop
  • Lower the risk that your baby will be born early
  • Increase the chance your baby will come home from the hospital with you
  • Prevent problems with the placenta
  • Decrease chances of developmental delays

Secondhand smoke can:

  • Cause lung problems such as bronchitis and pneumonia, which could send your baby back to the hospital
  • Increase your baby's chance of catching colds and getting ear infections
  • Cause Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

A breastfeeding mom who smokes can transmit toxic chemicals found in cigarettes to her baby through her milk.

Tips to Help You Succeed

  • Set a quit date. Circle the day on your calendar, and create a plan.
  • Throw out all the cigarette packs or tobacco products in your house and vehicle.
  • Tell friends and family you're quitting. They can often be your biggest supporters.
  • Ask people not to smoke around you now that you're pregnant.
  • Leave the room when others light a cigarette, and try to spend time more time in smoke-free places.
  • Talk to your prenatal care team about your quit plan. They can help.
  • Get free help quitting tobacco products from the S.C. Tobacco Quitline (1-800-QUIT-NOW).  Quit coaching is also available through the DHEC Baby & Me - Tobacco Free program.  

Learn more about quitting while you're pregnant with this guide



Family Planning Health