secondhand smoke and pregnantMy friend is pregnant and her husband smokes so she's trying to get him to quit before the baby arrives. That made me wonder whether his smoking could be harmful to her unborn baby right now. Is secondhand smoke safe for pregnant women?

The short answer is no. When a pregnant woman is exposed to secondhand smoke, the nicotine she ingests is passed on to her unborn baby, and here's what could happen.


Women who are exposed to secondhand smoke during pregnancy:

1. Have a higher rate of miscarriages and stillbirth

2. Have an increased risk of low birth weight infants

3. Have children born with decreased lung function

4. Have children with greater risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)

5. May have children who suffer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other conduct disorders

 

What can you do to avoid secondhand smoke? Here are some ideas.

1. Ask anyone who lives with you to quit

2. Ask family and friends not to smoke around you

3. If they insist on smoking, have them smoke outside

4. Leave the room or go outside

5. Don't go to places where you know there will be smoke that you can't avoid

 

Does someone close to you and your baby-to-be smoke? Are you worried about it? What precautions, if any, are you taking to avoid secondhand smoke?