How Bad Is Smoking During Pregnancy?


This was a hard one because it’s widely considered a really bad thing to smoke while pregnant.

All I could gather (after sifting through the outrage) was if you smoke and you quit cold turkey the withdrawal you’ll go through doesn’t hurt you or your baby and if you gradually quit before you hit 14 weeks your baby should be okay.

It is thought that smoking during pregnancy reduces the amount of oxygen getting to your baby and therefore can increase the chance of low birth weight, poor mental development, sudden infant death syndrome just to name a few gems.

Frankly, from the rabid comments people left on all these websites,  I can’t imagine anyone brave (or crazy) enough to smoke while pregnant anyway. Not unlike other vices, smoking seems to be considered a habit you choose to partake in and is therefore viewed as you taking your baby for a walk by kicking it down the street. The masses have spoken I suppose.

search: smoking dangers while pregnant, quit smoking pregnant, smoking during pregnancy

Topics:Is It Safe
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  • I found out I’m pregnant a week ago and have been struggling with trying to quit smoking since. I’ve cut down considerably but I still feel/know it’s “not enough.” But am also having the “whatever is going to happen is going to happen” thoughts when I read about stillborns and miscarriages and whatnot. Seems like I could do every single thing right and still have something terrible happen. Does it ever get less terrifying??

    • I don’t think it ever gets less terrifying. 🙂 Smoking is such a hard thing to quit – I can’t even count how many times I ran at it before I finally kicked it – but I think it’s great that you’re moving in that direction. As shitty as it may feel to reach out, working with someone who can support your journey and can help you with strategies and even medications can be very helpful. Sending strength, good vibes and love.

  • I’ve never smoked, but I can only imagine that the stats on pregnant women getting information or help in quitting smoking are terrible. It’s hard to think of something more vilified and that’s got to make women terrified to talk to their doctors about it. Think about how many illnesses, defects, and deaths we could prevent if every pregnant woman felt comfortable talking to her doctor about help in cutting back or quitting, and just think if it were easy to find safe support groups of other women in the same situation! But no, we’re more interested in blame first, then punishment, then prevention, and maybe rehabilitation works its way in there at the bottom. I know all I hear is some ridiculous idea that motherly love or "growing up" should magically give you the determination to just stop. Anybody who thinks that doesn’t know why people are smoking in the first place, and when I hear a smoker or former smoker say it, all I can think is that they’re in danger of taking it up again until they figure out why they really did it themselves.

  • I understand that smoking harms your baby. After all, it’s written all over cig packets, but as a heavy smoker of ten years after I found out I was pregnant I had to quit and it was the most depressing and horrible thing i’ve had to go through to date – and i’ve been through mental breakdowns and depression before.
    People don’t seem to understand how hard it is to quit drugs (and i use the term drugs because smoking is a drug even though it’s legal people just think because it’s legal it must be easier to give up than say, heroin). I am about 10 weeks pregnant and have cried myself to sleep almost every night as this pregnancy was an accident as well, even though my partner and I were about to get married. We had to call off the wedding until after this situation passes which really disturbed me.
    I have given up cigarettes, alcohol, my favourite food which is tuna and salmon sashimi, boxing and skipping as exercise because of the pressure and the fact that it is so uncomfortable to jump now and am so tired I can’t do any of my studies. Yet people say horrible things to you because they do not understand how hard it is and bag you out if you decide to eat something like a piece of cake.
    My parents and uncles smoked while my cousins and i were in their stomachs because back then the doctors weren’t aware of the dangers of smoking, yet we all turned out fine, they also drank and ate whatever.
    What I find interesting is the fact that in school, no one in my entire school had allergies back in the 80s – peanut allergies were unheard of and ADD (now ADHD) was only diagnosed to one or two people in the entire school. Fast-forward to 2014 and all these little children have allergies for something whether they be allergic to peanuts, gluten, shellfish, lactose intolerant or whatever, and most of them are diagnosed with some form of ADHD.
    Has anyone ever stopped to wonder if the diets today’s pregnant women are on have any impact on these illnesses?
    The myth surrounding second-hand smoke has also been debunked. It is much worse to sit in the middle of a peak-hour CBD for ten minutes than to smoke one cigarette.

  • I am currently 16 weeks pregnant and type one diabetic. When I first found out that I was pregnant, I quit smoking because it made me sick to my stomach. I was extremely angry and emotional and took it out on everybody. After an incredibly stressful fight with my mother in-law (whom I live with) I picked up smoking again and realized that you have to pick your battles. I hate exposing my baby to this, but I feel like stress has a bigger effect on my baby. My fiance just recently went to jail for voicing his opinion and the officer didn’t like him. He has never, ever, ever been in trouble and when he gets a call that his aunts landlord is choking her out, he is gonna get a bit protective. Which I guess is a good thing. The fact that he is in jail has increased my stress, but has now also gotten me sick, which will probably be the end of my smoking. Sorry I went on this rant but I needed somebody to hear this and know that some women has a reason for their choices. So please don’t judge a pregnant woman for smoking. You don’t know her and her life and she might be doing the best that she can for her baby.

  • I quit smoking a pack a day the day I found out I was pregnant with my now 7 month old little girl. It was difficult but I just stuck by the idea that smoking is an adult thing and I wasn’t going to expose my baby to it. The more I told myself "it is not physically possible for me to smoke any more" the easier it was to just not. I still have one occasionally now if I’m out having mommy time but I can definitely get behind not smoking while pregnant or around your baby/kids. Just not responsible in my opinion.

  • My mom has been pregnant four times…she smoked cigarettes and weed with all of us. We are all perfectly fine…none of us have any sort of health problems (except my chronic sinus infections, which in a surprise twist of events, happened after I quit smoking). We were all pretty small when we were born, around 5.5lbs, but seeing as my mother’s highest weight was 117 when she was pregnant with me, I’m not surprised. Her tiny little body couldn’t hold us in any longer.

  • As a pregnant woman myself, I personally believe that people should be considerate of others while smoking, and obviously not light up while around a pregnant woman because, well frankly the sensitivity to smells and the nausea kills to begin with…
    That said though, I've read alot of comments stating how it was perfectly acceptable just a generation or two ago, and in truth, it seems we all turned out okay. I am someone who smokes. I have been trying (VERY hard) to quit since I found out I was pregnant. Unlike what people think, (that you are just "weak willed" if you don't quit, or my favorite- that you are going to be a terrible parent) It's harder to quit than everyone (generally the non-smoker) thinks. Especially if you live in a household with smokers!

  • I am now 23 weeks pregnant with my second child, a baby boy, and before I became pregnant I was smoking almost a pack a day. I quit smoking with my first pregnancy but began smoking again soon after giving birth, she is now 4 years old and it was sooooo hard to quit smoking with my current pregnancy but I did. I also have something to say about second hand smoke after the children are born, my daughter was getting a large number of ear infections as a baby and toddler but as soon as my husband and I decided not to smoke in our home or car any longer she quit getting them, in fact she has not had an ear infection for over a year; on the other hand, my husband's ex-wife is a heavy smoker and does not have a problem smoking in her car and home right in front of my step-daughter and my step-daughter just had her third set of tubes put into her ears. It is completely possible and doable for someone to quit smoking during pregnancy and believe me I know its hard I still crave cigarettes sometimes but in the end its all worth it for the health of your children.

  • This is my third pregnancy and the hardest to quit smoking… When i got pregnant with my son almost 10 years ago I quit a couple weeks after i found out just threw my cig out and didnt look back till he was about 3 mnths and his dad threw a pack at me while we were out with freinds ( first time away from him) then 8 yrs later i became pregnant with my daughter and same thing a couple weeks into it i put out my cig and didnt look back, i was healthy ate right excersised ( till i was told not to ) did everything i was supposed to and at 37 weeks she died, she had developed blood clots in her cord % delivered my 7lb 3oz sleeping angel… I still didnt smoke even goin through greif and everything else I stayed strong (altho i think antidepressants helped) i stayed smoke free till about 2 months after % stopped taking my meds then started back up and then 4 months later found out I was pregnant again and I couldnt stop smoking for anything it was way to hard, id freaik out n scream and want to hit things…its sad cuz ud think after lossing a child id be way more paranoid but now its like whatever is gunna happen will happen im not in control…a mother can do meth and smoke a pack a day and deliver a perfectly fine baby, where as a mom who does everything shes supposed to losses her baby…its a crazy now 29 weeks and had to start back up my antidepressants wich has helped not to smoke alot but i have had one in the past 2 days… I dont think smoking is good for u pregnant or not but i do believe its the luck of the draw…

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