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Considering pregnancy? Stop smoking.

Posted Jun 11 2010 10:48am

If you are thinking about becoming pregnant, there are several things to put on your to-do list...start taking prenatal vitamins, get up-to-date on any vaccinations, strive for your ideal body weight, and stop any bad habits that might impact the health of your pregnancy and your baby.Smoking fits into that last category. A new study from the Centers for Disease Control estimates that moms-to-be who smoke account for up to 8% of premature births and up to 19% of low birthweight babies. And even more scary, almost 25% of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) could be prevented if the baby's mother did not smoke.

    So just quit smoking, right? If it could only be that easy!

    If you are pregnant, certainly the safest way to stop is to attend support groups or therapy. Although no one can say that nicotine replacement products (gums, lozenges, patches, and inhalers) are 100% safe during pregnancy, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists say that the benefits of stopping smoking outweigh the potential risk of these products. It's also safe to try a prescription medication that helps reduce the withdrawal symptoms.The best thing to do is to quit before becoming pregnant. And, make your partner quit too!

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