Smoking during pregnancy can have very serious implications for your health, as well as your unborn baby’s. The effects of smoking during pregnancy are listed below:
- Increased risk of premature birth
- Increased risk of stillbirth
- Increased risk of the baby suffering from inhibited growth
- Increased risk of the baby being severely underweight
- Increased risk of the baby developing respiratory problems
- Increased risk of complications during pregnancy and childbirth
- Increased risk of cot death
Is it too late to give up if I’m already pregnant?
It’s never too late to give up but the sooner you give up the better. Try to give up as soon as you find out that you are pregnant as this will prevent any harm to your unborn baby. The most significant damage is done during the second half of the pregnancy so if you give up during the first 3 months, the chances are that you wont cause your baby any serious harm; that said, you should make every effort to give up as early on as possible.
Will other people smoking affect my baby?
Passive smoking can harm unborn babies so it is important to keep your home as smoke free as possible; if friends or relatives smoke, encourage them to give up and if they don’t want to, ensure that they smoke outside. Passive smoking can contribute to miscarriage, premature and stillbirth and may cause your child to develop problems with their breathing.
Will I be able to use nicotine replacement products?
In many cases, pregnant women are able to use nicotine replacement therapy; however, you will need to discuss this with your doctor. The dangers of smoking far outweigh the risks of using nicotine replacement therapy so it is usually beneficial to use these products; however it is always best to check first.
Specialist help for expectant mothers
The NHS runs a smoking pregnancy helpline which offers free advice between 12pm and 9pm each day. If you contact your GP or ring the NHS helpline they will put you in touch with your nearest stop smoking adviser; you can get all the help and support you need completely free of charge.