It's (hopefully) common knowledge that if you're pregnant, or trying to become pregnant, you shouldn't pass the time smoking cigarettes. But what about second-hand, or even third-hand smoke? Basically, when you're pregnant, can you live in a house with a smoker? Is it harmful, or is it relatively safe for you and your unborn child as long as you're not the one inhaling? According to experts, the answer is an easy one (and one that every pregnant woman should absolutely know).
The American Pregnancy Association (APA) cites second-hand smoke as being "the product released into the environment whenever someone who is smoking exhales." The APA goes on to add that there are "4,000 chemicals present in second-hand smoke," and many of them are said to cause a variety of cancers. Whether or not you're the one smoking doesn't matter, either. If you're in the same space as someone who is, you and your baby are exposed to the very same cancer-causing chemicals. The APA also says that "miscarriage, low birth weight, early birth, learning or behavioral deficiencies in your child, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)," which is when an infant dies unexpectedly while asleep, can all be related to second-hand and third-hand smoke. In other words, it's absolutely not safe for you to live with a smoker while you're growing another human being inside your body, according to pregnancy experts.
Even if you're not around your smoking partner while they're indulging in a little tobacco, the affects could be potentially disastrous. Parents says smoke hides in things like clothing, furniture, fabrics, and more, and those toxins get increasingly more toxic over time. What does this mean in terms of your relationship with a live-in smoker? Science Daily confirms third-hand smoke is just as dangerous as first- and second-hand smoke inhalation, because the carcinogens "persist" for a long time, causing unwanted, or unknown, nicotine exposure.
The APA backs this up claim by explaining how those lingering toxins enter your bloodstream — which you share with your baby — and can interfere with healthy lung development and/or cause respiratory issues later on. If you're going to live with a smoker, they APA suggests having them wear an additional layer of clothing that can be removed before returning inside the living area, so not to put you and your baby at risk.
If you were a smoker and quit for the sake of your baby's health, congratulations! It can be difficult to stop, especially since nicotine has been proven to be so addictive. However, living with a smoker, or being in a place where smoke is prevalent — even if you're not the one smoking — is just as dangerous. In terms of delivering a healthy baby, and staying healthy yourself and for the duration of your pregnancy, it's best to encourage the smokers in your house to quit or, at the very least, take every precaution avialble to keep the toxins away from you and your growing baby.