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Smoking while pregnant — do I intervene?

By Annie Lane - Dear Annie | Mar 29, 2023

Annie Lane

Dear Annie: I am a waitress, and there is a lady I work with who is six months pregnant.

Every time she takes a break, she goes in the back and smokes cigarettes and sometimes she smokes weed. She has been smoking ever since I started four months ago, and I kind of knew that she was pregnant, but I never said anything until she told me.

I’m a mind-your-own-business kind of person, but I have witnessed a family member who suffered from asthma and died from it. Although it may not be the primary cause (or maybe it is; I’m not sure), I know smoking while pregnant increases the chance of the baby to have breathing problems.

She goes to the doctor for prenatal care and stuff, but every time she takes a break, my heart sinks and I feel guilty. Should I say something to her; if yes, what can I say?

Or should I just let her be? — Social Responsibility

Dear Responsibility: Of course smoking is dangerous to the baby, and you are right to be concerned. I suspect the pregnant mother knows this as well. If you condemn her, there is a good chance that it will backfire. She will be angry with you and not change her behavior. So you are in a tough spot.

I would suggest getting to know her as a friend as much as possible and telling her how excited you are about her pregnancy. Gradually, point out that inhaling tobacco smoke and marijuana can cause more damage to babies than doctors realized in the past. You might want to check out the information on the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, particularly the following links, which you can share with your fellow waitress when you feel the time is right: https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips/diseases/pregnancy.html and https://www.cdc.gov/marijuana/health-effects/pregnancy.html. Good luck!

Dear Annie: My heart went out to the young mother who was heartbroken on Valentine’s Day due to the untimely loss of her precious baby girl who had been named Valentine. I appreciate your feelings, for we also experienced the loss of our precious daughter. However, she was 28, and the loss was 12 years ago. Time doesn’t diminish our love for her.

I would suggest that on that day, her birthday, you and your family establish a unique way to honor her. On Valentine’s Day, create a scholarship in her honor, volunteer at the local food bank, or make a contribution to a local Boys and Girls Club, YMCA or to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. If there are tears that day, let them be tears of joy — and memory. You won’t regret it. — Been There

Dear Been There: I am sorry for your loss. You are continuing to honor your baby girl by bringing joy to other people. How beautiful.

“How Can I Forgive My Cheating Partner?” is out now! Annie Lane’s second anthology — featuring favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com.


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