Dear Doctors: Our daughter-in-law is four months pregnant with our first grandchild. When she and our son were recently visiting for the weekend, we became aware that she’s secretly smoking. She says it’s OK because it’s just three cigarettes a day and asked us not to tell our son. Is she correct? Two future grandparents are very worried.
First, congratulations on your first grandchild! Let’s forget for the moment that your daughter-in-law is hiding important news from her husband (that’s a topic for another advice column) and get right to your question. No, it’s not OK to smoke while pregnant. In our opinion, no one should smoke at all. Ever.
Let’s start with some hard facts to share with your daughter-in-law regarding her own health and her cigarette habit:
And it’s not just nicotine, carbon monoxide, and tar that are a problem. The tobacco in cigarettes is treated with dangerous chemicals to affect taste and make them burn evenly. Super-heat those chemicals and draw them into your lungs and you’re playing chicken with a host of toxins.
To quote the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an agency not given to alarmist sentiments, “Cigarette smoking harms nearly every organ of the body, causes many diseases, and reduces the health of smokers in general.”
Now that the basics are out of the way, let’s get specific about what happens when pregnant women smoke.
And now for the good news – it’s never too late to quit.
We recommend that your son’s wife come clean about her habit to her OB-GYN. The fact that she has been smoking is information that her doctor needs in order to provide the best care. Also, her doctor can help her craft a plan to quit.
If she insists on going solo, there’s a host of resources via 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).
Ask the Doctors is a syndicated column first published by UExpress syndicate.
Tags: Ask the Doctors, Ask the Doctors, Children’s Health, Dr. Eve Glazier, Dr.Elizabeth Ko, Healthy Living, healthy pregnancy, miscarriage, placental abruption, pregnancy, Prenatal Care, SIDS, smoking, sudden infant death syndrome, Wellness, Women's Health