Smoking in pregnancy

We know that it can be difficult to stop smoking. But we also know that you want to give your baby the best possible start in life.The risks of smoking during pregnancy are serious, from premature delivery to increased risk of miscarriage, stillbirth or sudden infant death. Quitting smoking is one of the best things you and your partner can do to help your baby develop healthily during pregnancy and beyond. For more help and advice visit the NHS Smoke Free website

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When you smoke you breathe in more than 4,000 chemicals from the cigarette. The smoke goes from your lungs into your bloodstream. That blood flows to your placenta and umbilical cord,right into your baby's tiny body. This causes your baby to struggle for oxygen.


One of the chemicals found in cigarettes is carbon monoxide, a dangerous chemical that gets into your bloodstream. This restricts the supply of oxygen that's essential for your baby's healthy growth and development.

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Your baby's tiny body is completely dependent on yours, so if you smoke throughout your pregnancy, your baby will go through nicotine withdrawal once it is born. This can make your baby stressed and irritable and it may be difficult to stop them crying.

Smoking while you are pregnant also increases the risk of your baby dying from cot death by at least 25%.

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Many people are choosing to use e-cigarettes to help them stop smoking. While these products are not completely risk free and the vapour may contains some toxins, these are at far lower levels than in cigarette smoke, so using an e-cigarette is a great deal safer than smoking

However, little is known about any potential risks of e-cigarette vapour to your baby and mums-to-be are therefore recommended to use one of the licensed stop smoking medications such as nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) to help reduce any withdrawal symptoms when quitting smoking.

If you do want to use an e-cigarette – maybe because you’ve tried other methods without success – there is lots of advice and support available from your local Stop Smoking Service. The most important thing for you and your baby is to stop smoking.

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Improving the physical and emotional health and wellbeing of expectant mothers, infants, children and young people throughout Aneurin Bevan University Health Board Area.

(N.B: The Family and Therapies team at ABUHB is NOT responsible for the content on the webpage links that we refer to in our resource sections and linked information to external sites. All information was accurate and appropriate at the time the webpage was created.)

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