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Is my mother-in-law’s heavy smoking bad for me & my unborn baby?
Q: I am 4½ months pregnant and my mother-in-law smokes over a pack a day. How will this affect my baby and me before and after I deliver? My husband and his mother think I am being too cautious. I am considered high risk as I am 40 years old, have epilepsy, and was just recently told my cervix is short and too small. I have already been pulled from my work, where I’m on my feet all day.
A: There are no studies specifically addressing the impact of second-hand smoke and pregnancy. However, we know that passive smoke is undesirable for everyone. Because you are pregnant, I don’t think it is unreasonable to ask your mother-in-law to refrain from smoking when you are together. Or perhaps you can visit outside and stay downwind. I would also remind you—and encourage you to tell your husband and mother-in-law—that second-hand smoke is not good for newborns. Maybe it is time to encourage your mother-in-law to try to stop smoking?