What Happens When A Pregnant Woman Smokes?

Smoking cigarettes is a common habit for many people, even though it can be very detrimental to one’s health. The nicotine and other chemicals contained in cigarettes pose several different health risks for any person. But these risks are amplified for women when they are pregnant. Smoking while pregnant is bad for the mother, but can cause serious complications and risks to the unborn child as well. Even with the many dangers, there are still studies showing that many women smoke during pregnancy. To learn more about just how dangerous smoking while pregnant can be, read on about the risks associated with this habit.

Pregnant woman smoking cigarette sitting in chair at home

Birthing Complications of Smoking While Pregnant

A wide range of problems can occur while giving birth from smoking while pregnant. One of the most common occurrences is low birth weight. This is especially troubling because babies with a lower birth weight are at a higher risk of infection and breathing issues, as well as complications later in life. Other complications include:

  • premature labor
  • Fetus death (stillbirth) — the death of the baby while still in the uterus
  • ectopic pregnancy — pregnancy outside of the uterus, commonly in the fallopian tube
  • placenta complications — early detachment from uterine wall; blockage of the cervical opening
  • premature membrane rupture
  • spontaneous abortion, or miscarriage