I saw yesterday where one member stated she was quitting smoking because she was planning for having a child and another post where a member actually found out she was pregnant. While it is always paramount for long-term success in smoking cessation that the smoker focuses on the fact that he or she is quitting for his or her own primary benefit, this is an area that a woman needs to take a little extra consideration for another life.
There are great risks posed to the unborn child if women smoke while pregnant. There is a greater risk of smaller babies, sicker babies, stillbirths, and more death within the first year of life. Children who grow up in smoking households have more chronic colds and respiratory diseases.
I haven't researched this area for quit sometime, but I know years ago that there were some pretty strong studies that showed that if women quit smoking during the first trimester of pregnancy, the risk of low birth weight babies were reduced back to non-smoking mothers again. It seemed at least at that time that a good part of the danger was induced smoking past that time period.
It is important for women who are in the stage of their lives of family planning take their smoking into consideration. The idea of just quitting to get pregnant or having a baby can pose a risk after the baby is delivered. You can figure now that the risks are now gone, you quit for the important time period. But still keep in mind that even though you did your baby a favor by quitting, you really did yourself the bigger favor.
For not only did you reduce the risk to your baby, you reduced your risk of being sicker throughout your life and eventually dying prematurely--you increased your ability to be active with your baby, throughout his or her life, even when your baby becomes an adult. You increased the odds that you will be around to see your baby eventually have children of his or her own, and even then you can be an active participant in yet another generation, as opposed to an elderly person on oxygen who watches family events from the sidelines, if you can even go to see them at all.
Quitting for pregnancy is a reason to start your quit. Staying off though is more comprehensive than this. There are many other benefits that go along with staying an ex-smoker that will stick with you throughout your entire life. To keep these benefits, always remember that the best way to improve "your" overall health and quality of life is to never take another puff!
Here is a link to the CDC fact sheet on smoking and pregnancy. There are plenty of other sites that I am sure have similar information too. I just went for the first one that popped up in a search engine.