Kim Zolciak Isn't Alone: Smoking During Pregnancy Shockingly Common
byJudy DuttonJun 10, 2013
After former Real Housewives of Atlanta star Kim
Zolciak was caught puffing on a cigarette while sporting what looked like a noticeable
baby bump in a white bikini, the outrage has spread like secondhand smoke.
Zolciak, 35, hasn’t admitted to being pregnant, but a close friend of the
couple told In Touch
and Kroy are so excited to be pregnant again … she’s been trying to keep it
quiet—she didn’t realize she’s showing as much as she is." So if she’s excited to be
expecting, why is she lighting up?
While Kim deserves the flack, she is by no means alone. About 10 percent of women smoke during pregnancy, according to the March of Dimes. Of those who smoked during the last three months of their due date, 52 percent reported smoking five or fewer cigarettes per day, 27 percent said six to 10 cigarettes per day and 21 percent said 11 or more per day. Let’s face it: As anyone who’s ever tried to quit cigarettes knows, they’re amazingly addictive.
Still, if there's ever a reason to try hard to quit, pregnancy is it: Experts warn that women who smoke while pregnant are playing Russian roulette with their kids. Dr. Robert Welch, chairman of the Obstetrics and
Gynecology Department at Providence Hospital in Southfield, Mich., has
reported to Medical
News Daily that "smoking cigarettes is probably the number one
cause of adverse outcomes in babies." Miscarriage and stillbirth are among
the most serious side effects; according to the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention the risk of congenital heart defects is
20 to 70 percent higher when the mom smokes. Smoking during pregnancy is also
linked to learning disorders, behavioral problems and low IQ.