You already know that smoking is bad for your health. We're not here to lecture you - we're here to help you give up. Giving up smoking can be hard, but if you're pregnant, now is definitely the time to quit.

snapping cigarette in half

How does smoking affect my unborn baby?

It's hard to imagine when you can't see your baby, but everything you breathe in passes through to your baby (including secondhand smoke). Each cigarette contains more than 4,000 chemicals.

When you smoke, carbon monoxide and other harmful toxins travel from your lungs, into your bloodstream, through your placenta and into your baby's body. When this happens, your baby struggles for oxygen. When your baby can't get enough oxygen, this affects their development.

It's never too late to quit

Whether you're pregnant or you've just found out you're expecting, the sooner you quit, the better.

There is lots of help available, so you don't have to do this alone. Your local stop smoking service offers free, one-to-one advice, support and encouragement to help you stop smoking. You can also talk to your GP or midwife – they can talk you through the best treatments available.

Benefits of giving up

When you give up, the harmful gases (like carbon monoxide) and other chemicals will soon clear from your body.

Reasons to stop smoking include:

  • You're doing the best thing for your baby's health
  • The chances of having a miscarriage or still birth are reduced
  • You'll minimise the risk of cot death (SIDS)
  • Your baby is less likely to be born early (premature) or underweight
  • Stopping smoking will help your baby in later life – some people suffer from asthma and other serious illnesses if their mother smoked while pregnant

Help and support

Remember, you don't have to do this alone. Talk to your GP, midwife or pharmacist for help and advice.

Find your local stop smoking service for free, confidential, one-to-one support.

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