Severe Risks to Pregnancy: Drinking Alcohol and Smoking Cigarettes

According to a recent government study, pregnant women who smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol may put their babies at higher odds for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Increased Risk for SIDS

After the first trimester of pregnancy, women who both smoked and drank increased the risk for SIDS nearly 12 times. For those who continued to smoke, SIDS risk rose fivefold, and for those who continued to drink, the risk was four times higher, researchers found.1

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Surgeon General, and the World Health Organization recommend that women not drink or smoke during pregnancy, and emphasizes the significance of dual exposure, which provides the greatest risk for infant mortality.

Brittle Baby Bones

Additional research has tied smoking during pregnancy to fetal growth restrictions and low birthweight among offspring. A new study provided convincing evidence that smoking during pregnancy is an independent risk for fractures, particularly in the first year of life.

1 U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, news release, Jan. 20, 2020