The responsibility of being a mother begins prior to birth and woman's choice to quit should be celebrated. A recent study funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that mothers who smoke during pregnancy are more likely to give birth to infants with heart defects. Smoking during pregnancy causes major health problems for mother and baby.
Quitting smoking takes practice, but it lowers these risks. Women who quit smoking cut the biggest risks of death from heart disease within five years and have a 20 percent lower chance of dying from related cancers in that time.
Smoking during pregnancy may cause problems with the placenta, the source of the baby's nutrition and oxygen. Mother's smoking can cause a baby to be born too early and have low birth weight; making it more likely the baby will become sick or die. Babies with moms who smoke are more likely to die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and have health problems such as ear infections and pneumonia.
Women who quit smoking in pregnancy have better general functioning, including more sustained relationships, more skillfulness in use of community resources and less disrupted and stressful life circumstances compared to pregnancy smokers. Quitting smoking is a really difficult thing to do at any time, but one of the most important things mothers can do for their children is to stop smoking.