We know that giving up smoking is very hard at the best of times and being pregnant can make it feel harder. We’re here to help if you’d like to quit smoking for you and for your baby.
Makes it harder for your baby to get oxygen and nourishment
It puts stress on the baby’s heart and affects the development of its lungs
Pregnant smokers have a greater risk of a difficult labour, miscarriage and a low weight baby
A low weight baby will be much more vulnerable to infection and other health problems like poor breathing and learning difficulties
Cutting down is a great start but cutting down will not get rid of all harm for the baby. Even smoking 5 cigarettes a day can reduce the weight of your baby and cause other health problems.
There’s a small risk that nicotine can affect the development of the baby. But as nicotine is just one of 4000 chemicals in cigarette smoke, nicotine replacement therapy, or NRT, is safer for you and your baby than smoking. Talk to your doctor before trying any type of NRT.
It is never too late to quit! Most of the baby’s growth happens later in pregnancy but the earlier you can quit, the better.
Breastfeeding will give your baby a good start in life but breastfeeding and smoking is not ideal. Women who smoke tend to produce less milk and babies of smokers are more prone to breathing problems. Remember, 80% of cigarette smoke is invisible and it lingers on clothes for hours.
Smoking releases a drug in your brain that makes your body feel relaxed, but in reality it speeds up your heart rate and increases your blood pressure. When you quit smoking you go through withdrawal which feels a bit like stress, but this is only for a short time.
It’s very important that babies and children have a smokefree environment to live in. If someone who lives in your home smokes it will increase the chances of cot death (sudden infant death syndrome). Babies are at a particular risk from second-hand smoke, as their lungs are smaller, still developing and they take lots more breaths. There are lots of other childhood illnesses that are connected with having parents who smoke, so if you can’t quit smoking, make sure that your home is smoke free.
Want to hear more? Check out this short documentary made by a group of students from the University of Glamorgan. It focuses on a midwife, Lois, and her work with pregnant women who smoke during their pregnancy
DOWNLOAD OUR LEAFLET ON SMOKING IN PREGNANCY
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