Smoking During Early Pregnancy May Put Baby's Heart at Risk

pregnant woman smoking.jpg

We all know that smoking during pregnancy can cause numerous health problems for an unborn baby. A recent report published by the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) indicated that smoking during the first trimester can have a detrimental effect on the unborn baby’s heart.

Smoking and Heart Defects

There are several types of heart defects a baby can be born with the most common are ones that “obstruct the flow of blood from the right side of the heart into the lungs, called right ventricular outflow tract obstructions, and openings between the upper chambers of the heart, known as atrial septal defects.” Each of the two defects is a common dominator for more serious heart defects. The risk of a baby being born with a heart defect ranges between twenty and seventy percent which varies by the type of defect. It is also important to know that a baby can be born with a heart defect even if the mother never smoked or was never exposed to second hand smoke. In addition, many women who do smoke have healthy babies. This report simply points out the increased risk for heart defects born to women who smoke in the first trimester of course smoking in any trimester is strongly advised against.


“Women who smoke and are thinking about becoming pregnant need to quit smoking and, if they're already pregnant, they need to stop," CDC Director Dr. Thomas R. Frieden said in an agency news release. "Quitting is the single most important thing a woman can do to improve her health as well as the health of her baby."



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