Smoking in pregnancy
If you are pregnant and smoke then you will need to stop smoking for the health of you and your baby.
No matter what stage of pregnancy you're at or even if you're just thinking about trying for a baby, stopping smoking is one of the most important things you can do for your own health and the health of your baby. Stopping smoking will make your pregnancy easier, reduce risks to you and your baby and allow you to feel positive about a smoke-free future.
When you become pregnant you may feel that there are a lot of changes happening in your life. It may feel difficult to stop smoking but we can provide you with lots of support to help you. Below are some hints and tips on stopping smoking in pregnancy.
Within 20 minutes of stopping smoking you and your baby will start to benefit, your blood pressure and pulse go back to normal, circulation improves and carbon monoxide levels in the blood go down.
You will also:
- have less morning sickness
- reduce the risk of thrush and UTIs
- find it easier to breathe
- have more energy
- look and feel healthier.
Free support is now available on the NHS in Southampton to help you stop smoking. Pregnant women can now be given nicotine replacement therapy which includes patches, gum and lozenges. We can also help with advice, information and support with e-cigarettes (vapes) during your pregnancy.
Cutting down may actually increase smoking because your body will try to get enough nicotine from the ones left. Smokers who cut down draw longer, harder and deeper on each cigarette and so more harmful chemicals may actually reach the baby. The only safe thing to do for yourself and your baby is to stop.
Smoking actually increases your stress.
Smokers need nicotine, a stimulant and addictive drug in tobacco. Between 40 mins and an hour after your last hit of nicotine, falling blood levels of nicotine trigger a stress reaction. This causes your irritation and stress.
if you don’t smoke, you don’t have that stress! If you stop, not only will you feel calmer, you’ll also have more money to treat yourself and the baby.
Nicotine replacements are safe to use durig pregnancy and can help reduce the stress you feel from nicotine withdrawl.
Your baby's growth, development and future health is at risk if you smoke.
Smoking in pregnancy is linked to:
- Increased risk of complications
- Increased risk of miscarriage
- Increased risk of premature birth
- Low birth weight (but this means that the baby is more fragile and less developed)
- Higher risk of still birth and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS
Babies of non - smoking parents are more likely to be:
- Full term
- Normal birth weight
- Protected from infections, asthma or glue ear
- Developing better physically and mentally with fewer potential behavioural problems later on
- Babies will be better smilers, feeders and sleepers!
Your family and friends will also benefit if you stop smoking.
Passive smoking can affect the health of anyone breathing in your second hand smoke. By stopping smoking, you will be acting as a powerful role model for your children and may inspire others to try to stop smoking.
If you have a partner who smokes then we can support you together to make this powerful step to support your health and the health of your children.