The effects smoking has on a fetus during pregnancy






effects of smoking during pregnancy


Cigarette smoking damages all the organs in the body and is one of the major causes of lung cancer. Smoking also causes many health problems such as lung disease, strokes, cataracts, and heart diseases.

Do people really know what is really inside a cigarette? What chemicals and compounds a cigarette contains? A cigarette contains over 60 chemicals and over 4,000 compounds that induce cancerous diseases. 

For a pregnant woman, cigarrettes can cause serious health problems to her and to the fetus as well. Some of the effects it can have on an unborn baby are:

SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome)


Premature delivery

Low birth weight

Due to the nicotine and carbon monoxide that a cigarette contains, when a pregnant woman smokes, it causes a shortness of oxygen to the fetus. That delays the reproduction and development on the fetus. Usually, smoking during pregnancy will cause the baby to be born underweight and premature. 

When that happens, the baby will have a harder time breathing on its own and usually, have to spend a few days under a respirator. It might also cause the baby to be born with a small hole in their heart (heart murmur), and more likely to develop asthma later on in life. 

Second-hand smoking can also cause health problems to the fetus. If a pregnant woman is frequently exposed to second-hand smoking during her pregnancy, she can have a miscarriage, stillbirth or premature. Other complications that a baby can develop are:

Ear infections

Lung infections



Smoking during pregnancy can cause many unwanted and deadly effects on the baby. We all know how addictive nicotine can be, but there are many methods that can help a woman to quit smoking and keep her and her baby healthy. 

Be conscious of the harm that smoking can cause to the fetus 

Time is also an important factor when trying to quit, it is recommended to quit before the 14th week of pregnancy.

Quitting cold turkey is one of the ways that most pregnant women quit the habit.

The nicotine patch is also another alternative that can help her quit smoking and will not cause any harm to the fetus.

Zyban (Wellbutrin) is an anti-smoking prescription drug that can also be used for weight loss. It is also safe to be taken during pregnancy. 

Seeking professional help is also a good alternative in adding with nicotine addiction. 

If a pregnant woman has other people in the home that smoke, they need to find a way to get rid of them to avoid temptation. 

Every person is different, and should look for what works best for them whether it be patches, medications, professional help, or just quit cold turkey. 


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