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Another Reason Not to Smoke While Pregnant: Birth Defects
Date:8/18/2007

it and may shorten the time between prenatal visits for extra support. We recommend smoking reduction with the idea that it will lead to cessation," Welch said.

Both experts said nicotine replacement products aren't recommended for pregnant women, but that many women have success quitting smoking using acupuncture. Both Welch and Alvarez said it's key for the woman's partner to quit smoking as well or stay away while smoking.

What's most important, said Alvarez, is to be upfront with your doctor about your smoking habit.

"I would rather know the truth, so I know why the baby isn't growing adequately. Tell me that you're having major difficulty quitting, and we can work on breaking the habit," Alvarez said.

More information

To learn more about the effects of smoking during pregnancy, visit the March of Dimes.



SOURCES: Manuel Alvarez, M.D., chairman, department of obstetrics and gynecology, Hackensack University Medical Center, N.J.; Robert Welch, M.D., chairman and program director of obstetrics and gynecology at Providence Hospital and Medical Center, Southfield, Mich.; Alfred Robichaux III, M.D., chairman, obstetrics and gynecology, Ochsner Health System, New Orleans; January 2006, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery


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