The Risks of Smoking During Pregnancy: Can It Cause Premature Labor?

Smoking is a dangerous habit that can have serious consequences for pregnant women and their unborn babies. Studies have shown that smoking during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of premature birth, stillbirth, neonatal mortality, spontaneous abortion, fetal growth restriction, and childhood morbidity. A baby born three weeks or more before the due date is considered premature, and these babies often miss out on important growth that occurs in the womb during the last weeks and months of pregnancy. The good news is that quitting smoking before the fourth month of pregnancy can reduce some of these risks.

Research has found that quitting smoking, even among very frequent cigarette smokers, can reduce the risk of preterm delivery by up to 20%. However, the more cigarettes a pregnant woman smokes, the greater her risk of complications and having a baby with a low birth weight. For example, among first-trimester smokers, the proportion was 14.4% for those who smoked 1 to 9 cigarettes a day, 14.8% for those who smoked 10 to 19 cigarettes a day, and 16.0% for those who smoked 20 or more cigarettes a day. Reducing the number of cigarettes you smoke doesn't reduce most of the risks for you and your baby.

The only way to reduce your risk is to quit smoking completely. Quitting smoking can be difficult, but there are many resources available to help you quit. Your doctor can provide advice and support, as well as medications that can help you quit smoking. There are also many online resources available to help you quit smoking, such as support groups and quit-smoking programs.It's important to remember that smoking during pregnancy can have serious consequences for both you and your baby.

If you're pregnant or planning to become pregnant, it's best to quit smoking as soon as possible. Quitting smoking can reduce your risk of complications and help ensure that your baby is born healthy.

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