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Smoking during pregnancy causes a shortage of oxygen which can have devastating effects on your baby’s growth and development. On average, smoking during pregnancy doubles the chances that the baby will be born too early or weigh less than 5 1/2 pounds at birth. Smoking also more than doubles the risk of stillbirth.
On average, a pack-a-day habit during pregnancy will shave about a half-pound from a baby’s birth weight. Smoking two packs a day throughout your pregnancy could make your baby a full pound or more lighter.
Undersize babies tend to have underdeveloped bodies. Their lungs may not be ready to work on their own, which means they may spend their first days or weeks attached to a respirator.
Children whose mothers smoked during pregnancy are especially vulnerable to asthma, and have double or even triple the risk of sudden infant death syndrome SIDS).
Babies whose mother smoked in the first trimester of pregnancy are more likely to have a heart defect at birth. Children of pregnant smokers are especially likely to have learning disorders, behavioral problems, and relatively low IQs.
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