Smoking Effects During the First Trimester of Pregnancy

The first weeks of pregnancy are extremely crucial as the young fetus is developing at a rapid place, and is extremely fragile. Being so small and underdeveloped, a fetus needs as much nutrients as possible especially during the first trimester of pregnancy when essential elements such as the head, brain, and lungs are initiating development. For this reason, it is imperative that women who are avid cigarette smokers quit smoking at the initial discovery of pregnancy and women who are trying to conceive should stop smoking before pregnancy occurs.

-Why is there so many dangers for smoking during pregnancy?

Cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, including lead, cyanide, and other disgusting elements. While none of these 4,000 chemicals are beneficial for mother or baby, the two major components of cigarette smoke that is extremely damaging is nicotine and carbon monoxide. When a mother inhales a puff of cigarette smoke, these chemicals are instantly absorbed into the bloodstream and are transferred to the baby immediately.

– Potential Complications the Smoking Mother

Smoking in early pregnancy comes with an extensive list of potential risks and damages to the unborn fetus, and to the mother as well. Mothers who smoke during their pregnancies pose the potential risk of developing a complication known as placenta previa. In placenta previa, the placenta surrounding the baby is located much lower than it should be and in some cases covers the entire uterus, which can cause a lot of complications during delivery. Another problem that may arise is placental abruption, which occurs when the entire placenta is destroyed. Both of these potential complications can result in internal bleeding leading to miscarriage of death of the mother during childbirth.

– Miscarriage and Early Labor

Two major risks a smoking mother poses on her unborn fetus includes miscarriage or early labor.  Smoking in early pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage significantly, which means the body rejects the fetus and is expelled on its own; however, if the body does not expel the fetus the women may need to have a doctor surgically remove the stillborn baby. Early labor is also significantly heightened in a smoking mother, which could result in a full term stillborn baby or a severely underweight and underdeveloped baby.

– Weight and Size

A lot of people are under the impression that smoking early on in the pregnancy will not effect the unborn baby, but this is simply not true. In fact, smoking throughout the initial weeks of pregnancy can cause irreversible effects to the baby months down the road, especially at the point of birthing. It has been proven time and time again that premature birth and underweight babies are born from smoking mothers.

When a baby is born prematurely or born underweight, their tiny bodies are not prepared for the world and are typically very underdeveloped, which could mean devastating affects including death. This can also mean extremely high risks for the baby including lung problems, heart problems, and more. Most premature babies will spend multiple nights in the NICU as their bodies are not developed enough to handle the outside world.


Smoking throughout pregnancy brings about a number of complications and problems in a young baby that can follow them for the rest of their lives. Some of the problems a baby may face includes underdeveloped lungs which calls for respirators during the first few weeks of life and asthma later in life. A baby may also heart defects at birth, and learning disorders, behavioral problems, and lower IQ levels later in life.


SIDS is sudden infant death syndrome, and there is usually no rhyme or reason for this sudden death of the baby. However, it has been proven that babies born to woman who have smoked early on in their pregnancy have a higher risk of SIDS (double, even triple the amount).

If you are trying to conceive or may be pregnant, it is imperative to quit your habit as soon as possible. Multiple studies have shown that woman who have quit smoking during the first trimester of pregnancy have a higher potential for birthing a healthy and full term baby with no complications. If you are having trouble quitting, there is multiple steps you can take to destroy the habit. Try one of the following methods:

-Think of the potential risks it is having on your baby.

-Try joining a support group with other mothers or pregnant woman struggling.

-Take small strides to quitting, with a set goal in the near future.

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