Second Hand Smoke

QUESTION

Dear Midwife,
I'm about 10 weeks pregnant and my husband and I were out celebrating our friend's birthday. The restaurant was pretty free from smoke during the evening but began to turn into more of a bar environment with more and more smokers as the night progressed. Not to raise any suspicion, since we have not shared the pregnancy news yet, we tried to position ourselves away from any smokers in the room but at the end of the night it was unavoidable. When we felt that the smoke was too much, we left.

I am concerned about the effects of being in a smoky environment for several hours while pregnant. I have not been around smoke up to this point and I don’t plan on it in the future but being there last night has made us nervous.

Thanks.

ANSWER

It is unlikely that the amount of smoke you are talking about would do irreparable damage to your baby, so relax and enjoy your pregnancy!

-- Cynthia, CNM. PhD.

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Cynthia Flynn

Cynthia Flynn, CNM. PhD, is the General Director of the Family Health and Birth Center which provides prenatal, birth, postnatal, gynecological and primary health care to underserved women and their families in Washington, D.C. Recently Cynthia served as Associate Professor of Nursing at Seattle University. There she not only taught, but remained in full scope clinical midwifery practice at Valley Medical Center where she cared for pregnant and birthing women, and practices well-woman gynecology, family planning, and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.

Cynthia founded Columbia Women's Clinic and Birth Center, where she took care of pregnant women and infants up to two weeks of age and attended both birth center and hospital births. Before Cynthia earned her CNM, she worked as a registered nurse in labor and delivery and postpartum and is a certified Doula and Doula trainer.