Nicotine is a highly addictive substance that can harm a pregnant person and their developing fetus. It can cause various health problems, including premature birth, low birth weight, and prenatal developmental issues.

Quitting all forms of tobacco products during pregnancy helps someone protect the health and well-being of themselves and their fetus.

However, quitting can be difficult, especially for those who may have an addiction to nicotine.

This article provides information on the risks of using nicotine during pregnancy, tips for quitting safely, and when to speak with a doctor.

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Nicotine exposure during pregnancy can have several harmful effects on the pregnant person and the fetus.

These effects include:

  • increased risk of pregnancy loss, stillbirth, and premature birth
  • low birth weight and developmental issues, such as orofacial clefts
  • problems with the placenta, such as placenta previa and placental abruption
  • increased risk of perinatal mortality
  • ectopic pregnancy

In addition to these specific risks, there is also a link between nicotine exposure during pregnancy and an increased risk of various long-term health problems for the child. These issues include respiratory infections and asthma.

No, vaping or using e-cigarettes is unsafe during pregnancy, though more studies examining these products are necessary.

Vaping devices contain nicotine and other chemicals that may harm a pregnant individual and the fetus.

Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products provide a small amount of nicotine to help reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

NRT is available in various forms, including gum, patches, lozenges, and nasal sprays.

Current research suggests that NRT during pregnancy is safer than smoking. A 2021 review found no link between increased risk of pregnancy or birth issues and NRT use.

However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies NRT products as a pregnancy category C or D, depending on the form of NRT. This means there is some potential risk to the fetus, but the benefits of NRT may outweigh the risks for some pregnant people.

Yes, it is safe to quit smoking during pregnancy. Quitting smoking at any point during pregnancy benefits both the pregnant person and the fetus.

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), quitting smoking before 15 weeks of gestation may offer the most benefits.

However, quitting at any stage of pregnancy can still reduce the risks relating to smoking, including:

Quitting smoking can also improve the overall health of the pregnant person and reduce their risk of developing heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer.

Pregnant people who smoke can safely quit by following these tips:

  • Make a quit plan: This should include a quit date, a list of reasons for quitting, and strategies for managing cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
  • Get support: A person can talk with a healthcare professional, friend, or family member who can provide support and encouragement. Pregnant people may also want to join a smoking cessation program or support group.
  • NRT or other medications: NRT can help reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Pregnant people can consult a doctor to determine if NRT or other medications are right for them.
  • Engage in behavioral therapies: Behavioral therapies, such as counseling or support groups, can provide pregnant people with strategies and coping mechanisms to help them quit smoking.
  • Stay active: Physical activity can help distract pregnant people from cravings and reduce stress.
  • Avoid triggers: Pregnant individuals can identify and avoid situations, people, or places that may trigger the urge to smoke.

Pregnant people who smoke should talk with their doctor about quitting as soon as possible.

Those who have tried to quit smoking on their own but have had difficulties doing so should not give up. Many resources can help with quitting smoking, and a doctor can help a person find the best approach for quitting safely and effectively.

Nicotine use during pregnancy can have serious health risks for both the pregnant person and the fetus. These risks include an increased risk of pregnancy loss, stillbirth, premature birth, low birth weight, and sudden infant death syndrome.

Quitting smoking and all other forms of nicotine use during pregnancy can help protect someone’s health and the health of their fetus.