Pregnancy and Second Hand Smoke

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All mother-to-be women are advised to quit smoking during the pregnancy period. However, simply quitting is not enough to eliminate the risks associated with exposure to cigarettes. Many women are exposed to second hand smoke from friends or family members or from the residue cigarettes leave behind.  These types of indirect contact with cigarettes can also have detrimental effects on the health of both mother and the baby.

Second Hand Smoke and Pregnancy

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The product getting released into the environment whenever someone who is smoking exhales is characterized as the second hand smoke. It can also come from the end of tobacco-containing smoking products. With approximately 4,000 chemicals present in second hand smoke, it increases the risk of cancer.  Therefore try not to get exposed to second hand smoke during pregnancy, as it may put both the mother and baby at risk.Some of the health issues associated with being exposed to second hand smoke includes miscarriage, early birth, low birth weight, learning or behavioral deficiencies in your child, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). SIDS is a disorder which causes the infant death unexpectedly while sleep and this condition still remains as a mystery as the medical examinations couldn’t pinpoint a cause of death so far. However, in order to reduce the risks associated with cigarettes and cigars, it is always better to avoid smoke and smoking habit entirely.

Third Hand Smoke and Pregnancy

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Third hand smoke is the residue left behind by cigarettes on furniture, rugs, paint, etc. which can stick around for months or years. Even if a place smells like smoke when no one is currently smoking, it is safe to stay away from there as tobacco residue is probably present there.

Toxins can enter your bloodstream when you either touch something containing the residue or if you breathe in some of the residue. When the toxins make their way into your blood, they are often shared with your baby. One study performed at the Los Angeles Research Institute determined that third hand smoke residue possess a detrimental effect on prenatal lung development causing respiratory problems later in life. It is better to stop smoking entirely,  if one is trying to conceive.

Make sure your partner smokes outdoors and advise your partner to wear a coat or sweatshirt when smoking and remove it before coming indoors. In addition, after being exposed to cigarettes, wash your hands before touching your baby.

What Happen Once Your Baby is Born?


Babies in contact with second hand smoke are more likely to develop SIDS and in addition may experience negative effects on their immune system.

The problems may include ear infections, colds, respiratory ailments, and teeth problems. Third hand smoke is considered to be as harmful as second hand smoke to your infant, so it is very important to keep your child away from such areas containing third hand smoke residue.