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Is it safe to breathe wood smoke from a fire during pregnancy?

Is it safe to breathe wood smoke from a fire during pregnancy?

There's not enough information to give a definitive answer, but it's probably best to avoid wood smoke as much as you can.

Some studies from outside the U.S. suggest that ongoing exposure to smoke from cooking over a wood fire can reduce the baby's growth and increase the risk of preterm birth. Another potential problem is that burning wood treated with harmful chemicals sends the chemicals into the air, where they can be inhaled.

Also, breathing smoke from any type of burning materials could reduce the amount of oxygen in your bloodstream — and therefore the oxygen available to your baby.

If you can't avoid exposure to wood smoke (for example, if you heat your home with a wood-burning fireplace or stove), make sure you ventilate the area as well as you can.

Note: This answer was reviewed by Mara Gaudette, Teratogen Information Specialist at MotherToBaby


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