Can You Vape While Pregnant?

Often touted as safer than cigarettes, vaping has become an increasingly popular strategy for those who wish to quit smoking. While its effectiveness as a quitting aid is arguable, its reputation causes many mothers to wonder: can you vape while pregnant?

This article delves into the science behind the question, can you vape while pregnant? The article analyzes the potential health risks associated with vaping during pregnancy for both child and child-bearer. Whether it is nicotine, marijuana, or just plain flavored juice, vaping while pregnant should be avoided whenever possible. 

Can you vape while pregnant?

Whether you are vaping THC, nicotine, or just flavored vapor, vaping while pregnant can pose serious health risks for you and your baby. The liquid contained in e-cigarettes and dab pens contains chemicals, flavors, and other additives that may put your baby in danger. These dangers lead experts to note that, no, vaping is not safe during pregnancy.

The science 

During pregnancy, the developing fetus gains nutrients and oxygen from the mother’s placenta. As such, whatever a mother consumes is crossed through the placenta into the uterus. A number of factors can affect the placenta's health, including maternal age, abdominal trauma, blood pressure, and substance use. 

In other words, when you vape during pregnancy, the substances and chemicals that you’re consuming will cross the placenta. Your baby feels the effects--and consequences--of your substance use. 

Thus, vaping can put your baby at risk of the severe side effects associated with the substances you vape, such as nicotine or THC. Even vape juice that does not contain nicotine or THC will still contain additives and flavoring whose effects on child development are largely unknown. In short, vaping during pregnancy can pose health risks for your child. In general, it is not recommended that child-bearers vape while pregnant. 

Vaping nicotine while pregnant

As previously noted, vaping nicotine is often hailed through word-of-mouth as a safer alternative to smoking; as such, many turn to e-cigarettes when attempting to quit smoking tobacco. 

Though vaping nicotine generally contains fewer harmful substances than tobacco and/or cigarettes, vaping nicotine during pregnancy is still not recommended. According to theCenter for Disease Control (CDC), nicotine carries health risks for both pregnant women and their developing babies. Vaping nicotine while pregnant can cause damage to a developing baby’s brain and lungs.

Furthermore, other additives alongside this nicotine can have unknown effects on your baby’s health. While vaping may expose your developing child to less of the specific toxins directly associated with smoking tobacco and nicotine, the developing central nervous system is ultra-sensitive to nicotine exposure. When a developing brain is exposed to nicotine, the results arestrongly associated with reduced cognitive function and altered behavior patterns. 

Research on vaping during pregnancy isongoing. Nevertheless,research on nicotine consumptionduring pregnancy is plenty: nicotine use is linked to low birth weight and can seriously damage your baby’s brain and vital organs. As such, vaping nicotine should be avoided during pregnancy. 

Vaping marijuana during pregnancy 

Marijuana consumption of any kind--whether smoked, eaten, or vaped--can put you and your developing baby at risk. 

When you consume marijuana during pregnancy, the psychoactive ingredient THC and other cannabinoids can cross the placenta. Thus, cannabis consumption will directly affect your developing baby. When you vape cannabis, the THC concentrate in your vape pen will likely contain other additives that may prove harmful to your child. 

Consuming marijuana during pregnancy can alter your baby’s development. According to theSubstance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, vaping marijuana while pregnant can impact your child’s physical development, causing potential growth restriction and low birthweight. Marijuana use during pregnancy can also affect the development of your child’s central nervous system. 

When exposed to cannabis, your child is also exposed to potential long-term brain development issues impacting memory, learning, and behavior. Most deadly, marijuana consumption while carrying a child is linked to a slightly higher risk of premature birth or stillbirth. 

Additionally, because of the psychoactive effects of marijuana, vaping cannabis during pregnancy can causedizziness or disorientation for the child carrier. These side effects can increase the risk of falling while pregnant, putting both mother and baby in danger of serious physical harm. 

Ultimately, the American Academy of Pediatrics advises child-bearers to avoid marijuana use entirely while pregnant and breastfeeding. 

To sum it up

Ultimately, it is not safe to vape while pregnant. Though vaping may decrease your exposure to the specific toxins associated with smoking, it certainly has risks of its own. Be it nicotine, cannabis, or a substance-free vape juice, vaping of any kind can expose your child to substances, additives, and chemicals that have proven harmful. These toxins can alter your child’s development, both physically and cognitively.

Research in this field is still in its beginning phases. Medical professionals are still unsure of the exact risks associated with vaping during pregnancy. Nevertheless, to protect the health of yourself and your developing fetus, it is best to avoid vaping while pregnant. 


Is vaping harmful when pregnant?

Yes, vaping can create health risks for you and your developing child. Vaping nicotine, cannabis, or substance-free vape juice can expose your baby to dangerous chemicals and toxins. As a result, vaping can negatively impact brain development and damage your growing child’s major organs.

Is it better to smoke or vape while pregnant?

Though vaping exposes your developing fetus to fewer of the known toxins associated with smoking marijuana or tobacco, vaping during pregnancy can pose serious health risks. Both should be avoided during pregnancy.

Can vaping cause birth defects?

When you vape during pregnancy, the substances in the vapor you are consuming can cross the placenta and impact your child. These substances can cause low birth weight, growth restriction, and neurological effects such as reduced cognitive function and slow brain development.

Can you vape without nicotine while pregnant?

Whether your vape juice contains nicotine or not, vaping while pregnant can still pose risks for you and your fetus. Vape juice often contains chemicals, flavors, and other additives whose effects on developing babies are generally unknown.

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