Smoking & Pregnancy
If you are planning or expecting a baby stopping smoking is one of the most important things you can do to help you have a healthy baby and a safe delivery.
We know quitting smoking can be difficult but there is lots of help available. Call the stop smoking helpline now on 0300 123 1044 to get specialist, personalised help from our advisers over the phone. Together we can help you to find the best way.
Benefits of quitting
There is no safe level of smoking during pregnancy. The only way to reduce the risk of health problems for you and your baby is to stop completely.
Every cigarette contains over 4,000 chemicals; theses reduce the amount of oxygen and nutrients going to your baby. When you stop smoking, these chemicals start to leave your body immediately, so your baby gets the oxygen and nutrients needed to grow and develop.
Stopping smoking reduces your chances of having a miscarriage and greatly reduces the risk of having a baby born too early, underweight or stillborn. Stopping smoking will also help to protect your baby from developing respiratory and ear infections and asthma and will reduce the risk of cot death.
Quitting smoking as early as possible in pregnancy is best but stopping at any time has benefits so stop now and you and your baby will start to feel the rewards straight away.
Being exposed to other people's tobacco smoke (second-hand smoke) carries the same risks to your baby as mum smoking. A 100% smoke free environment is recommended for all women during pregnancy.
Quitting now means you and your partner are also protecting the future health of your baby. We know that children exposed to other people's tobacco smoke as they grow up are at increased risk of asthma, ear infections, meningitis and cot death.
Trying to conceive
Quitting smoking can improve your chance of becoming pregnant.
Smoking reduces fertility in both women and men and can increase the length of time it takes to get pregnant. Smoking can also reduce the success of fertility treatment.
We know that men who smoke have a lower sperm count than non-smokers, poorer quality sperm and increased impotence.
Smoking and stress
Many people believe that smoking reduces stress but it doesn't! This is a myth that people believe because smoking relieves nicotine withdrawal symptoms like irritability and low mood - tricking you into believing it helps with stess.
It is proven that people who stop smoking have less anxiety, depression, and stress, plus improved mood than those who continue to smoke. By quitting now you can relax and enjoy the pregnancy.
Nicotine Replacment Therapy
NRT is FREE from your local stop smoking service or doctor whilst you're pregnant and there are a varity of NRT products available.
Licensed NRT products such as patches and lozenges are the recommended option in pregnancy. NRT provide clean, safe nicotine without other chemicals in cigarette smoke.
If you're suffering with morning sickness the gum or lozenge may not be the best choice for you, while they work, they not be tolerated so well. You may be better using and an inhalator or mouthspray alongside a patch.
Before using NRT, speak to your midwife, GP a pharmacist or a specialist stop smoking adviser in your borough to make sure you get the right one for you.