It is important to take care of your health all the time but even more so during pregnancy. Everything you do affects not only your health but the health of your unborn child as well. We all know that smoking is bad for our health and we should quit but if you are pregnant, the need to quit smoking becomes a priority. Besides the obvious concerns to your own health, smoking poses a risk to your baby. If you’ve wanted to quit now is the time.

Babies that are born to mothers that smoke are prone to low birth rates and premature delivery. Smoking can also increase the chances of complications such as placenta previa, a condition in which the placenta separates from the uterine wall, causing hemorrhaging and premature delivery by emergency c-section. There is also a higher risk of miscarriage in women that smoke. It is even believed that infants born to mothers that smoke may be at a greater risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).

Smoking during pregnancy has also been linked to behavior disorders such as attention deficit disorder. Remember that if you smoke while you are pregnant, your baby is smoking too. The risks don’t stop once you deliver your baby. Parents who continue to smoke around their infants put their children at risk for a host of respiratory illnesses. Often people do not realize the profound effects that second hand smoke can have on others particularly children.

Not only does smoking increase the likelihood of respiratory illnesses it can also aggravate existing conditions such as asthma and allergies. The bottom line is that when you smoke you put yourself and your child at risk needlessly. If you can’t quit for your own sake, stop smoking for the sake of your child. You want your baby to be healthy so take the necessary steps to ensure your child’s good health.

If you have tried to quit smoking before to no avail or if you want to quit but need support, you can get help. It can be very difficult to quit smoking; there’s no doubt about that but it can be done. Speak to your physician; he or she will be able to direct you to a support group or other facilities that can offer assistance in accomplishing your goal to be smoke free. Many local hospitals offer smoking cessation classes for free that provides you with techniques to stop smoking along with stress relief and relaxation techniques. It is definitely worth the effort when you consider your health and that of your baby.

If you have already given birth or are close to delivery and are considering methods to quit smoking such as a nicotine patch or hypnosis, make sure you discuss these methods and alternatives thoroughly with your family and your physician. Many people feel anxiety about methods such as hypnosis and alternatives such as the patch can have serious side effects that can prove just as dangerous as smoking itself. Weigh the options carefully and decide on a method that is safe and best for you.

Here is an avenue of support if you are trying to quite smoking during pregnancy:

National Partnership to Help Pregnant Smokers Quit