Join Club Momme for exclusive access to giveaways, discounts and more!

Sign up

Kim Zolciak Isn't Alone: Smoking During Pregnancy Shockingly Common

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 magazine, “Kim 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.

Photo via Daily News

More from news