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Can I smoke while pregnant?

I'm not a chain smoker, but I enjoy an occasional cigarette. Can I still have a few once I get pregnant?
Submitted by Team

You might think that a cigarette every now and then can't hurt your unborn baby too much, but that's simply not true. Cigarette smoke contains more than 2,500 chemicals and many -- especially the nicotine, tar, and carbon monoxide -- are very harmful to your pregnancy and unborn baby even in small amounts. Secondhand smoke is dangerous too, so now's a good time to convince your partner to kick the habit if he smokes too. And make sure to steer clear of smoky bars and restaurants.

As you might suspect, there's a whole laundry list of pregnancy complications linked to smoking, including miscarriage and stillbirth. Studies have shown that smoking during pregnancy can cause birth defects and nearly doubles your risk of having a low birth weight baby, which can in turn lead to conditions like cerebral palsy, mental retardation, and learning problems. And babies born to moms who smoke are twice as likely to die from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) as babies of nonsmokers.

If you currently smoke, it's not too late to quit. Stopping during the first trimester or, better yet, before you start trying, can greatly reduce your risk of having a low birth weight baby and other smoking-related problems. If you need help quitting, talk your doctor, who can advise you on the safest methods while you're trying to conceive or during pregnancy. --Karen Bilich

Copyright 2009

The answers from our experts are for educational purposes only. Please always refer to your child's pediatrician and mental health expert for more in-depth advice.

Community Answers2

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I don't know, just depends on the baby. I know one girl that smoked during her pregnancy and her baby was still 7lbs 2 oz and he was healthy. Everybody has a general idea, but things are different when it comes to people. Everybody is different. Her baby does not have mental retardation, he did not die with SIDS. Matter of fact he will be on in march.
Submitted by tanisha.burse
no you can not smoke...everytime you take one puff of smoke(even second hand) you are suffocating the baby
Submitted by sweetebony0893