Cigarette exposure during pregnancy – reducing risk and boosting resilience

Bi-weekly pregnancy tip



8 Proven Shortcuts To A Healthy Pregnancy

it's free!
Protecting your personal information is of utmost importance to me

The research on cigarette smoking in pregnancy is loud and clear: smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of pre-term delivery, low-birth-weight babies and stillbirth, amongst other complications.

However, the addiction to nicotine can be powerful – and many women, even if they are able to successfully quit themselves, remain exposed to second-hand smoke through their workplace or personal relationships.

A recent study has shown that smoking-exposed women have lower levels of folate (Vitamin B9) and Vitamin B12, along with higher associated levels of homocysteine – which presents risks to both mom and baby, including recurrent miscarriage, pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes.

So for women who have cigarette exposure during their pregnancies (either before learning they were pregnant, or due to continued second-hand smoke exposure), a first step to reducing risk and boosting the body’s natural resilience would be to supplement with active/methylated B9 (folate) and active/methylated B12 (methylcobalamin), which will also help clear homocysteine from the body. In pregnancy, 1000mcg each of folate and methylcobalamin would be an appropriate dosage.

Of course, decreasing cigarette exposure throughout the remainder of a new mother’s pregnancy should be a primary focus of mom, doctor, family and friends. But now we have additional clinical strategies to keep mom and baby as healthy as possible for pregnancy and life beyond.

I hope you have found this helpful, and do let me know if you have any questions!

If you are hungry for more evidence-based information in your pregnancy, sign up for my free webinar: 7 Pregnancy Myths Debunked – and get the information you need to have a healthy pregnancy and a thriving baby.

And if you are a care-provider looking for evidence-based resources for your pregnant patients, please get in touch with us at

In health,

Dr Jocelyn Land-Murphy, ND

Terra Life

Disclaimer: The information and content provided is for general educational and informational purposes only and is not professional medical advice, nor is it intended to be a substitute therefore. Please consult the Disclaimer and Terms of Use for full details.


ACOG. (2010). Smoking cessation during pregnancy. Committee Opinion No. 471. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Obstetrics & Gynecology, 116: 124 1–4.

De la Calle, M. et al. (2003). Homocysteine, folic acid and b-group vitamins in obstetrics and gynecology. European Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, 107(2): 125-134.

Nelen, W. et al. (2000). Hyperhomocysteinemia and recurrent early pregnancy loss: a meta-analysis. Fertility and Sterility, 74(6): 1196-1199.

Tuenter, A. et al. (2018). Folate, vitamin B12, and homocysteine in smoking‐exposed pregnant women: A systematic review. Maternal and Child Nutrition, 2018.

Venn, B. et al. (2003). Comparison of the effect of low-dose supplementaton with L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate or folic acid on plasma homocysteine: a randomized placebo-controlled study. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 77(3): 658-62.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



8 Proven Shortcuts To A Healthy Pregnancy

it's free!
Protecting your personal information is of utmost importance to me