Smoking when you’re pregnant is not only harmful to you but also your baby as well. It can cause many problems when your baby is born.
If you smoke whilst you’re pregnant it means your baby is sharing the chemicals from the smoke you breathe. It also means that the dangerous chemicals in other people’s second-hand smoke can affect your baby, it does this by restricting the essential oxygen supply to your baby every time you have cigarette, it means your babies heart has to beat harder every time you smoke. Therefore if your partner, friends or family smoke around you their smoke is still harming your baby. Second hand smoke can hang around for two and a half hours even with a window open and cot death is five times more likely when there’s second hand smoke around.
So if you and your partner both smoke why not give up together this will not only help you but also your baby, you will be able to support each other through the process of quitting and in turn you will feel better and your baby will be much healthier.
Smoking in pregnancy increases the risk of:
- Complications during pregnancy including bleeding, detachment of the placenta, premature birth and ectopic pregnancy.
- Babies have lower birth weight. Women who smoke on average have lighter babies by up to 8oz compared to non-smoking mothers. Premature and low birth weight babies are more at risk to illness and infections.
- Congenital defects in the baby such as cleft palate.
- The risk of stillbirth or death in the first week after the baby is born is increased by about one-third.
- There are also long term affects such as development and the general health of the child. Children born to smokers are smaller, have lower achievements in reading and maths and also have an increased risk of developing asthma compared to that of a child born to a non-smoker.
The benefits for your baby when you give up:
- You will reduce the risk of miscarriage and bleeding.
- You reduce the risk of breathing problems in the first six months of your baby’s life.
- The risk of cot death decreases.
- You improve your chances of a healthier pregnancy.
- Your child will grow up in a smoke free home.
- Your child/children will grow up healthier and are less likely to smoke.
- The money you save will come in handy for things you need to buy for the baby.
- Less morning sickness
- Fewer complications
- A more content baby after birth
If you want to give up call the NHS Pregnancy Smoking Helpline 0800 169 9 169. They are there to help and support you and to find the best treatments for you to be able to quit, don’t delay call right away!
Many people find that when they give up smoking they need something to do with their hands, it may be a good idea to get a pen, or stress relief aid to play with and to occupy you so not to be tempted to pick up a cigarette.