Every cigarette you smoke has more than 4,000 chemicals, so smoking when you are pregnant harms your unborn baby. We know it can be hard to quit – nicotine is a stimulant and is very addictive.
We can help you to take that first step to stop smoking for good.
The effects of smoking during pregnancy
- Increases the risk of ectopic pregnancy
- Increases the risk of miscarriage
- Increases the risk of stillbirth
- Smokers are three times more likely to have a low-birth-weight baby. Smoker’s baby’s organs are smaller on average than babies born to non-smokers.
- Babies are more likely to be born prematurely and with a low birth weight (below 2.5kg). Low birth weight is one of the leading causes of infant illness, disability and death.
- Smoking appears to double a woman’s risk of developing problems with the placenta.
- Increases the risk of fetal malformations, such as cleft lip and palate.
Did you know?
Every cigarette you smoke reduces the oxygen supply to the fetus for 20 minutes. So even just three cigarettes a day means the fetus has had reduced oxygen for 1 hour on that day.
The effects of smoking on babies
Babies born to parents who smoke:
- Are at an increased risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) – three times more likely
- Have a poorer lung function
- Are more at risk of developing asthma or have more severe attacks
- Get more middle ear diseases
- Are likely to be smaller and lighter as children and more prone to infections
- Are more likely to get diabetes or have ADHD.
How we help
The earlier you stop smoking the greater the benefits for you and your baby. But it is never too late to stop smoking. The adverse effects of smoking mainly occur in the second and third trimesters.
Your midwife can refer you to the Smoking Cessation Service and an appointment will be made with one of our advisers at a pharmacy, a GP surgery or in one of antenatal clinics. Our service is set up to be extremely flexible and accessible to support you to stop smoking.
We offer a friendly non-judgemental approach. You’ll get:
- A personalised smoke free plan with a stop smoking practitioner
- Free Nicotine Replacement Therapies (NRT) to support you to quit
- Face to face /telephone behavioural support
- Support for a partner wishing to quit.
Smoking cessation midwives
This video, produced by Tommy’s, explains the effects that smoking has on your unborn baby.