It’s pretty common to hear that vaping—using e-cigarettes—is safer than smoking. But safer doesn’t mean completely safe, particularly when we’re talking about vaping while pregnant.
Here, we’re talking all things vaping and pregnancy. But the short version?
Vaping during pregnancy is something to avoid if you can.
We know how tough it can be, but quitting is the best option for your health and your baby’s health.
Read on for more info and our tips on how to go nicotine-free.
In this article: 📝
- Is vaping safe while pregnant?
- Is vaping safer than smoking in pregnancy?
- What does vaping do to a fetus?
- What can vaping do to your body?
- Tips for kicking the nicotine
- Vaping while pregnant: The bottom line
Is vaping safe while pregnant?
The simple answer: No, vaping during pregnancy isn’t safe for you or your baby.
E-cigarettes contain nicotine, an addictive chemical that can affect your baby’s development.
It can also cause changes to your body through the physical stress of addiction.
While it’s hard to hear, that can affect your little one too.
Is vaping safer than smoking in pregnancy?
Here’s the twist: vaping is probably safer than smoking.
Vaping doesn’t burn tobacco and so doesn’t produce tar or carbon monoxide.
That means if quitting nicotine completely is too tough right now, vaping is probably preferable to smoking while pregnant.
But we say probably because vaping isn’t risk-free.
There’s still the problem of nicotine, which studies have shown is present in roughly the same amounts in vapes as in cigarettes.
And we’re still not fully clear on what effects e-cigarettes have. Research is ongoing—but it doesn’t look like they have a positive effect on your health.
What about vaping 0 nicotine while pregnant?
Right now, we’re not in a position to say whether vaping zero-nicotine products while pregnant is ok.
While nicotine is the main problem, researchers are still looking into the possible effects of e-cigarette flavors and the chemicals from the aerosol.
Straight talk: It’s safest to cut out all forms of nicotine (and any other addictive chemicals) while you’re pregnant if you can. Here are some reasons why:
What does vaping do to a fetus?
Vaping can have a big impact on your body and your unborn baby. This is what we know so far:
- Nicotine can have a long-term effect on your baby by impacting the development of their lungs, heart, brain, and immune system.
- Can vaping cause birth defects? Yes, vaping seems to increase the risk of birth differences—largely due to the presence of nicotine.
- Vaping while pregnant has been linked to low birth weights and preterm labor.
We know this stuff isn’t easy to hear, but it’s important to have all the facts.
What can vaping do to your body?
If you vape instead of smoking, you avoid some of the harmful substances associated with cigarettes.
But vaping can still have a negative impact on your body:
- It’s just as addictive as smoking. That means you’ll still have withdrawal symptoms if you stop, including raised blood pressure, increased heart rate, and feelings of discomfort. These can all affect your baby.
- It can still affect your cardiovascular system. Nicotine narrows your arteries and may harden your arterial walls. This raises the risk of a heart attack.
- Vaping can harm your digestive system. Vaping increases the risk of heartburn, Chron’s disease, and peptic ulcers.
Tips for kicking the nicotine
We can’t tell you that vaping or smoking is ok.
But we can share some tips on how to get through the challenge of quitting. Here’s what you can try:
- Ideally, quit before you’re pregnant. Pregnancy can be stressful—and adding “quit vaping/smoking” to your to-do list can add extra strain. Set a deadline for quitting before you get pregnant if you’re planning on TTC.
- Know that every little counts. Quitting nicotine is hard. But every cigarette you can skip is an achievement. Try not to beat yourself up if you relapse, but reward yourself for keeping going.
- Lean on your support network. Partners, friends, family, or the community at Peanut. Being in (smoke-free) social environments can help take your mind off things and remind you why you’re quitting.
- Try nicotine alternatives. We don’t know about the full effects of vaping while pregnant. But we do know that nicotine patches, gum, or lozenges are all safer than smoking.
- Talk to smokefree.gov. You don’t need to quit by yourself. Government organizations like SmokeFree can provide support.
Vaping while pregnant: The bottom line
Vaping while pregnant is probably better for your health than smoking.
But that doesn’t mean it’s ok.
The best thing you can do for you and your little one is to quit.
It’s tough—but you can do it. We believe in you.
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