If you are pregnant and are a smoker it is really important for you to stop smoking for your health and the health of your unborn baby.
Just as smoking is bad for you, babies in the womb can be harmed by tobacco smoke because it reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that pass through the placenta from you to your baby.
At your booking appointment with your Midwife you will be asked to do a simple breath test for carbon monoxide (CO). CO is a toxic gas released from tobacco smoke, exhaust fumes and faulty gas appliances. CO is extremely harmful to you and your baby.
How does smoking harm you and your unborn baby?
- Each time you smoke your baby is deprived of the oxygen s/he needs to grow for about 20 minutes
- It deprives your muscles, brain and body tissues of oxygen
- It damages your placenta
- It restricts the oxygen supply to your baby
- It can lead to poor growth, premature birth and still birth
- It can cause miscarriage
- It increases the risk of your baby being born with abnormalities – face defects, such as cleft lip and palate, are more common because smoking affects the way your baby develops
Why should you quit smoking?
The earlier you stop smoking the better: but it’s never too late to quit!
- Your baby will feel the benefits straight away
- You will reduce the risk of your baby being born underweight and under-develop
- You and your baby will be free from CO in less than 24 hours
- Better health in the future
- More money to spend on you and your baby
How can a stop smoking service help a pregnant woman to stop smoking?
All women who are smokers at their booking appointment are referred to our stop smoking service for help to quit.
Our Healthy Pregnancy Support Worker can work with you to help you quit; they will support you to make this important change. If you choose, they can provide you with free Nicotine Replacement Therapy such as inhalators or patches.
It’s important for your baby that you stop smoking while you’re pregnant.