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What's Worse: Drinking or Smoking While Pregnant?

What's Worse: Drinking or Smoking While Pregnant?

Tie one on or light 'em up? There are mamas-to-be that hang on to their habits despite being pregnant. And while heading to the bar for a cocktail or stepping outside for a cigarette may not have garnered a second glance a generation ago, times have changed.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:

"We do not know what, if any, amount of alcohol is safe. But we do know that the risk of a baby being born with any of the fetal alcohol spectrum disorders increases with the amount of alcohol a pregnant woman drinks, as does the likely severity of the condition. And when a pregnant woman drinks alcohol, so does her baby.

And, in regards to smoking, HHS cautioned:

Smoking during pregnancy can lead to a low birthweight baby and can reduce your baby's lung function.

Which expectant woman bothers you more — those who booze or those blowing smoke?

Join The Conversation
luvs2gossip luvs2gossip 9 years
BOTH!! You shouldn't be doing either while your pregnant!
mcpro26 mcpro26 9 years
I think smoking is far worse. I have a friend that when she was pregnant she still smoked through out her pregnancy because she claimed her doctor told her not to stop smoking because it would effect her blood pressure, I think I would take that risk. We were watching a TRUTH commercial and it was talking about effects of smoking on babies and one of the effects was low birth weight and she said that is not a bad thing she did not want her child to be big at birth (I never said she was that bright). Needless to say her four year old now has epilepsy and she cannot fathom that it could have been caused by her smoking. DUH
leeluvfashion leeluvfashion 9 years
Both are horrible however I voted for drinking; I think the alcohol can be just as bad/ worse then smoking considering the baby is digesting the alcohol too.
abqmama abqmama 9 years
Both are really awful things to do while pregnant however I chose smoking. I figure that someone who smokes and can't quit while pregnant is severely addicted and will do it constantly throughout their whole pregnancy, and probably after the baby is born, leading to all kinds of health problems. Unless the mother drinks every day or gets drunk on a regular basis, the chances of the baby being affected by an occasional drink are much smaller than being affected by constant smoking.
badkitty badkitty 9 years
there is nothing wrong with a pregnant woman having a drink while pregnant every once in a while. as a matter of fact, my friends ob/gyn suggested my friend should have a glass of wine once or twice a week to help her relax and unwind. i drank coffee throughout my pregnancies and lots of people thought that was bad. w t f.. whats bad would be if i had a raging headache for 9 months from my caffeine withdrawl. smoking is terrible for you, pregnant or not.. having a glass of wine can be beneficial to your health so why not. every year doctor change their minds about what is acceptable and what is not for pregnant women and babies. be informed but there is no reason to be paranoid about every single thing you do. basically..what jennifer76 said..
ufshutterbabe ufshutterbabe 9 years
Preach it jennifer76! I admire your well-balanced, informed outlook on such things. Everyone needs to make their own decisions on their own acceptable level of risk, but I believe smoking is worse. Smoking will almost certainly cause the kid to have problems, where as responsible occasional consumption of alcohol (later in the pregnancy) will most likely not cause problems for the baby.
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
If there's a chance that something you did could harm your baby how could you do it? Ok, I have to take exception with this mentality. Getting in your car could harm your baby. Exercise could harm your baby. Waking up in the morning and going about your business could harm your baby. People factor risks and make life decisions on a daily basis. Of course you don't want to make your baby vulnerable to significant risks unnecessarily, but pregnant women have to be allowed to live healthy and normal lives without the constant guilt of possible minute risks to their babies.
kikidawn kikidawn 9 years
Neither!!! I will not do either when I am pregnant and I have a strong dislike for women who do (execpt for maybe a very occasional drink if approved by OBGYN). The only possible way I can figure I would drink during pregnancy is if I drink during the very first month when I realize I am not pregnant. Even that would be a very slim possibility b/c I don't normally drink. And I would never smoke b/c... well b/c I find that disgusting and will never put myself at risk like that.
bluepuppybites bluepuppybites 9 years
Hello you shouldn't be doing either, when you are the only source of growth and development for a growing life, why would you chance it.
am am 9 years
Isn't that kind of like asking, "Which is worse, kicking a person or punching a person?" Both smoking and drinking do damage when done long-term. I think this is a silly question.
glam-sugar glam-sugar 9 years
Both are equally irresponsible. If there's a chance that something you did could harm your baby how could you do it?
Kristinh1012 Kristinh1012 9 years
Oh BTW, I don't count either one of these things for anyone's parents who did them. They were either never or wrongly informed back when my Mom was pregnant with me in 78. As far as I know, drinking and smoking during pregnancy wasn't really considered all that bad until a while after I was born.
Kristinh1012 Kristinh1012 9 years
They are both horrible. I think smoking is worse in a way, but it would have to depend on how much drinking you're talking about. I think if you are taking the responsibility and deciding you are going to become a mother you need to make sure you can and will be willing to make sacrafices right from the start. Otherwise do you and the baby a favor and don't even bother. If you can't make sacrafices while your pregnant, you probably won't be very good at making other small sacrafices later. I've known people who smoked their entire pregnancy and then actually have the nerve so say things like "my poor baby, he/she's got severe asthma" I'm like........NO SH*T!!!! And you feel BAD NOW??????? WHY?????
Gabriela14815884 Gabriela14815884 9 years
Both are bad! I chose smoking though because to me it is the greater wrong IMO. My Sis-in-law smoked through out her whole pregnancy with my youngest nephew and he has all sorts of allergies and he has eczema...I could choke her really but thankfully that seems to be the extent of his issues.
stina829 stina829 9 years
Neither! I did both before I was pregnant and I quit as soon as I found out I was pregnant. My son is happy and healthy. My friends, on the other hand, had an occasional glass of wine and did not quit smoking (didn't even slow down at all) and both babies have breathing problems and allergies.
anniekim anniekim 9 years
Certainly, it is not acceptable to do either one. But the lifelong effects of fetal alcohol syndrome are much more severe and devastating than those of smoking. The more you read about FASD the more horrifying and sad the information.
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
Well, it depends. Generally, I'd have to say smoking because that is pretty much always a constant habit. Someone who has a low alcohol content drink (like beer or wine) now and then, I don't even think is a problem. But, someone who drinks daily or more than a drink at a time probably does more damage to their child than a smoker.
faerymagick15 faerymagick15 9 years
neither is ok to me, my mom smoked while she was pregnant with me...I have had terrible asthma since I was a baby. I have never known anyone who drank while pregnant though. Well, excedpt my cousin's mom...and he was born with FAS and has had lifelong problems with learning disabilities, anger issues, etc...been in and out of jail. So, I am sure there is a connection with moderate to heavy drinking while pregnant. A glass of wine once or twice during an entire pregnancy isn't going to cause FAS though. Err on the side of caution IMHO.
JeJaJa JeJaJa 9 years
Neither is okay as far as I'm concerned.
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