Smoking During Pregnancy
You might be intersted in learning about how smoking uniquely affects women, the links between smoking and pregnancy and what you can do.
How does smoking uniquely affect women?
Women experience unique effects of smoking. For example, in general, women are more susceptible than men to getting osteoperosis and this risk is higher for women who smoke. This is because nicotine blocks the absorption of vitamin D, which is necessary for the absorption of calcium in your bones.
Here are some other ways that smoking uniquely affects women:
- Women are specifically targeted by tobacco companies.
- Women are more likely than men to start and continue smoking because of fear of weight gain.
- Smoking during pregnancy is linked with complications with the woman's health and her birth and baby.
- Some research shows that the risk of heart disease, lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may be higher for women than men who smoke.
- Some links between smoking and reproductive health are specific to women such as fertility and early menopause.
How might smoking affect the pregnancy?
The mom and baby are connected through an organ called the placenta, which passes along things the mom eats, drinks and breathes to her baby. Therefore, alongside with food and drinks, nicotine, carbon monoxide and tars can get passed along through the placenta if the pregnant woman smokes cigarettes.
Because of the carbon monxide in cigarettes, the amount of food and oxygen passed to the baby is reduced. As a result, babies of women who smoke tend to weigh less and may have less developed organs such as the brain or lungs. A baby who weighs less is more likely to have health complications and have to stay in the hospital longer.
What can I do?
All of this information can seem overwhelming. But, there is positive news!!! You can reduce, quit smoking or stay quit. We are here to help. Continue to read the other pages on the PREGNETS website to get help with reducing or quitting.