Nov 272011

“No wonder she needed a cesarean section.  She must be a smoker.  Look at the “smoker’s placenta” we have here.” – OB to second OB during a cesarean.  The mother did not smoke.

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 November 27, 2011  Cesarean, OB  Add comments

  16 Responses to “"…Look At The 'Smoker's Placenta' We Have Here."”

  1. Wow, unprofessional, heartless, mother-blaming, and just stupid.

  2. The sad thing is that had they bothered to ask the mother they were operating on if she smoked they probably wouldn’t have believed her.

    What does a smoker’s placenta look like, anyway?

  3. Uhm….read the chart much??? That information is normally in the records. And perhaps mom isn’t a smoker but is exposed to second hand smoke. SO how about you stop talking like the patient isn’t present….and is awake and aware of your inappropriate conversation…. and start thinking about providing health CARE.

  4. Ok, I’ve seen a smoker’s lung, and it’s pretty nasty, but how does a smoker’s placenta look different than a non-smoker’s?
    Also, doc, everything that crosses your mind does not need to come out of your mouth.

    • Because smoking restricts blood flow, the placenta of a smoker tends to be smaller. They may also deteriorate faster, so you’ll likely find more calcification on the placenta as well. Because the growth of the placenta tends to be restricted, so does the growth of the baby. In fact, before it was really understood about cigarettes and pregnancy it was common practice for doctors to suggest smoking as a way for women to have smaller babies.

  5. Smoker’s placenta??? Huh??

  6. Smokers’ placentas tend to be nearly black. That’s the thing that has always stuck with me from seeing her birth as a kid. After delivering the placenta, her OB held up the placenta, and said “THIS is why you shouldn’t smoke!!”

  7. I’ve been smoking for 10 years and I don’t recall having a c-section…

  8. I smoked more than I would have liked during my first pregnancy. Someone showed my placenta to me and explained how healthy it appeared. Any other reasons for a smokers placenta doc?

  9. You know if she has what “looks like” a smoker’s placenta. Perhaps you should be discussing it with her. If she doesn’t smoke perhaps she is unaware that she is being exposed to something (not an expert on this) maybe chemicals at work or at home, radon in her basement, bad well water??? I keep forgetting that doctors are not always scientists and problems solvers, but little robots who like to put problems into boxes so they can move on.

  10. So let’s see. People come in all shapes, sizes, heights, widths, and colors. There’s variation in the shape of our ears that’s so unique they can be used as a fingerprint. Our toes, the arches of our feet, and our dental alignment and chemistry — all unique to each individual. And (with the exception of weight, ugh) we don’t generally treat these differences as the fault of the person whose body it is.

    Why would we be shocked that peoples’ organs have natural variation, too?

  11. I had lots of follow up ultrasounds after my 20 week scan found several subchorionic hemmorhages (which may or may not have been related to a car wreck at 19 weeks)–and one of the techs kept accusing me of smoking. It was like a 1 to 1 thing for her, I HAD to have smoked. And I don’t (never have), my husband doesn’t, etc.

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