New concerns about secondhand smoke, unborn babies

March 14, 2011 2:54:37 PM PDT
There's a renewed warning to men who smoke around their pregnant partners. New research finds passive smoke raises the risk of stillbirth or birth defects.

University of Nottingham researchers found that pregnant women exposed to smoke at work or home increase their risk of stillbirth by 23 percent. Having a baby with birth defects went up by 13 percent.

What isn't known is whether the effects occur when women inhale the smoke or whether men who smoke have damaged sperm.

Researchers say, to be safe, men should stop smoking before trying for a baby and avoid smoking anywhere near a pregnant woman.