Smoking: Problems With Pregnancy

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Topic Overview

If you are a woman who smokes and you are thinking about getting pregnant or are pregnant, now is a good time to quit smoking. Women who smoke may have a harder time getting pregnant. Women who smoke are more likely to have the following problems:footnote 1

  • Stillbirths and miscarriages.
  • Babies who grow more slowly in the uterus and weigh less than expected when born (low birth weight).
  • Children who have learning, emotional, and behavioral problems.

If you quit smoking before you become pregnant (or sometime during the first 3 months of your pregnancy), your risk of having a baby with low birth weight is the same as that of a woman who does not smoke. Women who quit later in their pregnancy still reduce the risk of problems for their babies.



  1. Fiore MC, et al. (2000). Clinical Practice Guideline: Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Also available online:


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerAdam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerJohn Hughes, MD - Psychiatry

Current as ofAugust 21, 2015

Current as of: August 21, 2015