Smoking and pregnancy

Carbon monoxide is one of over 4000 chemicals and toxins in tobacco smoke. If you smoke when you are pregnant this means that your baby is sharing all the chemicals from the smoke that you inhale.

It also means that if other people around you smoke you and your baby will be affected by any second hand smoke that you breathe in. Exposure to carbon monoxide reduces the amount of oxygen in your body; this means that your baby will also get less oxygen. Oxygen is vital for your baby’s healthy growth and development, this is why your midwife will screen you for carbon monoxide exposure during your pregnancy.

Quitting smoking is the best thing you can do for both you and your baby. Our advisors can help both you and your partner to take the first steps to giving your baby the best possible start in life. Stopping smoking will also:

  • Reduce the risk of miscarriage or still birth
  • Reduce the risk of your baby being born underdeveloped or born prematurely
  • Reduce the risk of your child suffering from asthma and other conditions such as glue ear and meningitis.

Once your baby is born, although it may be very tempting to start smoking again staying smokefree is very important for you and your baby. By staying smokefree your baby may have:

  • Fewer coughs, colds and ear infections
  • Better development
  • Less risk of developing asthma
  • Less risk of dying from sudden infant death syndrome.

There is free support available for you and your family to help you stop smoking. Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is also available for you to help you stop and stay stopped. We know that using NRT whilst pregnant is safer than smoking both for you and your baby, and having support from us will mean that you are much more likely to quit successfully.