If you’re in the process of trying to get pregnant, or if you’re already expecting a baby, one of the top things on your to-do list is to kick your smoking habit if you are a smoker. Even though the risks of smoking while pregnant have been well known for a number of years, a report issued recently by the Centers for Disease Control indicates that even with all the information and education about potential health risks, women are still reaching for cigarettes while they’re pregnant.
What Are The Statistics On Smoking While Pregnant?
While the national overall average indicates that 7.2 percent, or one in 14 women, reported smoking cigarettes while pregnant, this average can swing drastically state by state, throughout ethnic groups, in various age brackets, and amongst women with different educational levels. Some states had levels as high as 25 percent, while others had levels less than 5 percent. The levels were highest in women ages 20-24, and most prevalent among those with a high school education or lower.
What Are The Risks Of Smoking?
Smoking has been known to cause a wealth of problems in both men and women. More than 480,000 people die from smoking-related deaths each year, including most lung cancer deaths and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and that rate has been on the rise for the last 50 years. In addition to the more well-known issues like cancers and COPD, smoking also raises the risk of stroke, heart disease, and various cardiovascular diseases.
In addition to all of these risk factors, pregnant women have additional risks to themselves as well as their babies. Smoking has been known to cause preterm delivery or stillbirth, SIDS, a low birth weight, underdeveloped lungs, and heart defects. In addition to health problems that occur after delivery, women who smoke are at a higher risk for miscarriages.
What Can I Do To Stay Healthy And Keep My Baby Healthy?
The simple answer is to not smoke, but that isn’t always easy. If you’re not a smoker, it’s best to never start. This applies to smoking regular cigarettes or e-cigarettes, which are not shown to be healthier or assist in smoking cessation as often claimed. If you’re thinking about trying to get pregnant, you should look into cessation programs and seek support from smoking free resources. Quitting can take some time, so you will need to be patient and enlist the help of your friends and family for support. If you find out you’re pregnant and do have a smoking habit, you should quit as soon as possible as every week of your baby’s gestation contributes to important physical and mental development that can be harmed by the chemicals from smoking.
At The Woman’s Clinic, it’s our responsibility to monitor your complete health, especially in regards to pregnancy and your unborn child’s welfare. Whatever your situation is, if you’ve found yourself needing to stop smoking in order to improve your health or the health of your baby, we are here to have that conversation with you. Book an appointment with us today to get started on the quitting process so you can give your child the best chance at a healthy life.