Living or working with smokers may increase a pregnant woman’s risk of having a stillbirth, a new study suggests. Pregnant women who breathe in secondhand smoke are also more likely to give birth to babies who weigh less.
Reuters reports that the study included nearly 12,000 women, 11 percent of whom said they had been exposed to secondhand smoke. The researchers found that women who breathed in passive smoke had more than three times the risk of stillbirth compared with women who did not breathe in other people’s smoke.
The study, published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, also found that babies born to women who breathed in secondhand smoke weighed nearly 2 ounces less than babies whose mothers were not exposed to smoke at home or at work.
The researchers said that undiluted secondhand smoke could harm a fetus by restricting blood flow and damaging the placenta.