Should Pregnant Smokers Take Vitamin C?

Are you pregnant and smoke cigarettes? Then please consider taking take Vitamin C.

Years ago, Vitamin C was frequently in the spotlight because of the scientist, Linus Pauling who made the bold assumption that it was the cure for the common cold. While that topic is still subject to debate, it appears that Vitamin C has been proven to help pregnant mothers who smoke.

The dangers of smoking during pregnancy are well known. Not only does it increase the risk of developing lung cancer, it can also increase the chances of having a small baby, the placenta separates too soon before the birth of the baby (also known as a placenta abruption) and preterm labor. There is also an increase in Sudden Infant Death (SIDS) and pre-eclampsia.

At a recent international medical conference, the Oregon Health and Science University presented a medical study that looked at pregnant smokers who were aged 15 and older and gave them 5400 mg tables of Vitamin C. They compared these women with those who smoked but did not take Vitamin C.  Of course, both groups of women were counseled to stop smoking but continued during the course of their pregnancy. At birth, the infants of both groups were given lung tests and the Vitamin C group had better results. These results are significant because babies of smokers can also have breathing problems and death before the age of 28 days.

The researchers plan to test the babies again at age 12 months to see if there are any differences between babies of the same age who have wheezing problems.

Does this study give pregnant women who smoke the green light to continue? Of course not, but if they can’t stop smoking then taking Vitamin C might help reduce some of the harmful effects smoking has on their newborn.

Until next time, remember – a healthy pregnancy doesn’t just happen, it takes a smart mother who knows what to do.