Is Smoking Harmful During Pregnancy?
When a woman smokes, blood vessels constrict, reducing the amount of oxygen and nutrients delivered to the baby. In addition, the fetus is exposed to carbon dioxide, tar, and nicotine.
Women who smoke during pregnancy have a greater risk of smaller babies, premature births, miscarriage, stillbirth, and increased respiratory problems in the baby after birth. Some studies show an increased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) in babies exposed to cigarette smoke during pregnancy. There is recent evidence linking smoking to learning disabilities and growth retardation.
Pregnancy is a tremendous incentive to quit smoking. Our physicians would like to assist all women in smoking cessation.
Are Alcohol and Recreational Drugs Safe during Pregnancy?
- We recommend no alcohol intake during pregnancy. Alcohol can cause mental retardation and slow growth. Medical researchers do not know how much alcohol it takes to affect the developing baby during pregnancy. The fetus is especially vulnerable during the first trimester when all the major systems are forming.
- Recreational drug use, especially cocaine, can cause serious complications – miscarriage, fetal stroke, brain damage, and even fetal death. Your baby may become addicted to any drugs you take. If you have used such a substance during pregnancy, please alert your physician.