In detail

Pregnancy and smoking

Pregnancy and smoking


- I have been a smoker for at least 9-10 years, one pack a day, I would like to know about how long before I have to stop smoking in order to clean my body and have a healthy baby? I would like to point out that I am very stressed about this and an answer would help me a lot.


It is very good that you thought about this before you became pregnant. Depending on the total number of cigarettes smoked, the duration of smoking, the health and response of the mother's body, smoking can affect the baby's intrauterine development. Therefore, during pregnancy it is recommended to quit smoking or at least reduce the number of cigarettes.

It is useful to start at least reducing the number of cigarettes consumed per day, being a "heavy" smoker is useful if you can at least reduce the number to 5 cigarettes per day before becoming pregnant.

Smoking during pregnancy can have negative effects on pregnancy, both due to nicotine and CO (carbon monoxide) in cigarette smoke; nicotine through a vasoconstrictive effect, reduces the flow of placental circulation and CO (whose plasma dissolved concentration is increased in smokers and fetal blood) decreases the oxygen carrying capacity of maternal and fetal blood; the result of these changes may be fetal hypoxia (insufficient oxygenation of the fetus).

Due to the maintenance of this defect and during the pregnancy, there was a reduction in the weight of newborns from smokers mothers, on average 170-390 g; this reduction depending on the total number of cigarettes and the duration of tobacco intoxication, which is even more dangerous as it has manifested in the last months of pregnancy.

The low birth weight has repercussions on the further development of the baby, especially in the first year of life.

Some research has reported more frequent miscarriages, increased global perinatal mortality, and a percentage increase in preterm births in smokers (but, the frequency of congenital malformations has not been reported). Also, smoking would be involved in the difficulties of breastfeeding newborns, due to changing the appearance of the galactophore channels.

Therefore, during pregnancy it is advisable to quit smoking or at least reduce the number of cigarettes (up to 5 cigarettes / day), especially in the last two trimesters of pregnancy. Smoking during pregnancy is a risk and quitting smoking before becoming pregnant represents a great responsibility, to give birth to a new being.

Good health!

Dr. Ciprian Pop-Began
Obstetrics gynecology, Elias Emergency University Hospital