As part of our smokefree commitment, smoking is not permitted on our hospital site, including our grounds in order to protect our patients.
Tobacco Dependency is an addiction and we understand how difficult it is to quit.
Quitting smoking is the single and biggest change you can make today for the best chance of a healthy pregnancy outcome
You are up to four times more likely to quit with Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) and behavioural support, and we can provide this free of charge.
The service worked really well for me. There was no pressure and lots of support when I needed it. I am proud to have quit not just for me but for my baby and family.Michelle, new mum and service user
How can smoking harm your baby?
Cigarettes can restrict the essential oxygen supply to your baby. As a result, the baby’s heart must beat harder every time you smoke.
The sooner you stop smoking, the better for you and for baby. Stopping smoking will help both you and your baby immediately, regardless of at what point in your pregnancy you decide to stop.
When you stop smoking you:
- Reduce the risk of miscarriage
- Reduce the risk of complication in pregnancy and birth
- You are more likely to have a healthier pregnancy and a healthier baby
- Your baby is less likely to be born too early and have to face the breathing, feeding and health problems that often go with being premature
- Reduce the risk of small for gestational age babies – babies that are smaller than expected and have a higher risk of complications
- Reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia
- Reduce the risk of placental abruption
- Reduce the risk of birth abnormalities such as cleft lip and palate
- You reduce the risk of stillbirth
- You reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) also known as ‘cot death’
Babies of smokers are, on average, 200g (about 8oz) lighter than other babies, which can cause problems during and after labour. Lower birth weight babies does not mean an easier birth.
Babies whose parents smoke are more likely to have problems keeping warm and are more likely to get infections, which can result in trips back to hospital. Stopping smoking now will also help your baby in later life as children can be more likely to suffer from things like asthma.
Secondhand smoke can also harm your baby
Pregnant women exposed to second-hand smoke, there is an increased risk of complications during pregnancy and after birth. The most likely is that your baby could weigh less than expected.
In babies second-hand smoke exposure can cause respiratory infections, ear infections and asthma attacks it can also cause sudden infant death syndrome (cot death).
Need some advice?
Your midwife will explain the importance of trying not to smoke during pregnancy and will be on hand to refer you to our midwifery assistants who will support you through your journey.
Our tobacco dependency treatment service will support you alongside the community stop smoking service (Stockton only for the latter).
What to expect when you meet our team
- Your midwife or maternity support worker will ask if you smoke and test the levels of carbon monoxide in your body. If you have high levels, you will be referred to one of our specialist members for support
- Your midwifery team will have a short chat with you about the harms of continuing to smoke and the benefits of quitting.
- You will be offered Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) which is safe to use and can help you quit during pregnancy. You may also wish to use an e-cigarette or wape, as this si safe than continuing to smoke.
- A specialist member of the maternity team will arrange to meet with you to discuss and agree your personalised treatment plan, helping you to quit for good.
How to get help to stop smoking
National Smoke Free Helpline
Number: 0300 123 1044
Trust Stop Smoking service
Free Nicotine Replacement Therapy(NRT) & Behavioural Support available.
It’s never too late to make a quit attempt.
Trained Tobacco Dependency Advisors
Contact Number: 01642 383813
Email: [email protected]
Late pregnancy or after birth
There is also support available in late pregnancy or following the birth of your baby:
Stockton (NRT and behavioural support)
Contact Number: 01642 383819
Hartlepool (Behavioural support only)
Contact Number: 01429 272905
Useful links and resources
The nation website has lots of advice on stopping smoking during pregnancy and protecting your unborn baby.
24/7 support from expert advisors on how to quit smoking. Smoke Free is one of the most popular stop smoking apps available.
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ helpful guide to smoking and pregnancy.
Information leaflet for patients on stopping smoking support and advice.