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Tobacco Cessation for Pregnant Women

It is estimated that 20% or more of the women in the United States smoke throughout their pregnancies. (National Institute On Drug Abuse:  NIDA Research Reports – Nicotine Addiction. 1997).  The rate of pregnant women who smoke some time during their pregnancy in Calvert County is currently around 26%.

Smoking Cessation counseling is available for pregnant women at the Calvert County Health Department.  It can be individual or group sessions and the client can be seen in their home if needed.

Smoking during pregnancy provides a wide variety of risks for both mother and fetus:

  • Nicotine and carbon monoxide that are inhaled from cigarettes reduce the amount of oxygen supplies to the fetus.  Nicotine crosses the placenta and the concentrations of nicotine in the fetus can be as much as 15% higher then the levels in the mother. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report).
  • Carbon monoxide and nicotine combined may account for the developmental delays often seen in the infants of smoking mothers.
  • Smoking during pregnancy has been firmly liked to an increase incident of SIDS.
  • Low birth weight and preterm deliveries also increase and maternal smoking was identified as a risk factor.
  • Researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore report that some babies have a six-to-nine-fold increased risk of cleft palate if their mothers smoked cigarettes during pregnancy. (Indiana State Department of Health, Vital Statistic date, 1996).

It is always a good time to quit smoking.  It is never good to smoke while pregnant.  Cutting back isn’t enough.  In order to protect your baby you must stop smoking altogether.

If you’re thinking about becoming pregnant or are pregnant there are resources available to you to help you quit.

  • 1-800-QUIT NOW line
  • Calvert County Health Department Perinatal Smoking Cessation
    410-535-5400 x.343
  • American Cancer Society
  • American Lung Association
  • American Legacy Foundation – www.americanlegacy.org/greatstart
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