Stopping Smoking

Protecting your baby from tobacco smoke is one of the best things you can do to give your child a healthy start in life

It is never too late to stop smoking and as soon as you stop you and your baby will feel the benefits immediately! Carbon monoxide and other chemicals will quickly leave your body.

This means there will be more oxygen in your blood, making you and your baby healthier. Learn more about smoking during pregnancy by visiting the NHS Choices and Smoke Free NHS websites.

In each cigarette you smoke there are over 4,000 chemicals that can cause harm to your unborn baby

When you smoke these chemical poisons enter your bloodstream through your lungs and this blood flows through your placenta, down the umbilical cord and to your baby.

The poisons restrict the essential oxygen supply to your baby, so their heart has to beat harder every time you smoke. This is distressing for your baby and the poisons can last for up to 15 minutes at a time.

When your baby is born it will go through nicotine withdrawal, which can make her/him stressed and it may be difficult to stop them from crying.

Why stop smoking?

You may know people who have smoked during their pregnancy and their babies were fine, but why risk your baby’s health? If you stop smoking you will:

  • Reduce the risk of stillbirth
  • Reduce the risk of sudden infant death (cot death)
  • Reduce the likelihood of your baby being born too early
  • Be less likely to have a baby born underweight
  • Be more likely to have a healthier pregnancy and a healthier baby

Second-hand (passive) smoking is also dangerous to you and your baby. If your partner or anyone who lives with you smokes, their smoke can affect your baby during pregnancy and after birth.

How do I stop smoking?

Stopping smoking is hard, but if there was ever a moment for you and your partner to quit it’s now, while you are pregnant. Remember, no matter how addicted you are there are ways we can help you! You can take the Smoke Free NHS addiction test to identify which type of support you will need to help you stop smoking. Here are some suggestions from Start4Life to get you started:

  • Choose a quit date when you will stop smoking completely
  • Think about what you normally do when you are smoking and how you can break these habits
  • Think about how you will cope in difficult situations and have a solution ready
  • Tell your friends and family you want to quit
  • Ask friends and family to quit with you – if they can’t ask them not to smoke around you to keep your baby safe
  • Get rid of your cigarettes
  • Take one day at a time and reward your successes

How will you help me to stop smoking?

Across the South Tees area we have implemented the Baby Clear programme to help women to stop smoking during pregnancy. This involves routine carbon monoxide monitoring by your community midwife and referring women to smoking cessation services.

Women who choose to smoke may require additional interventions throughout their pregnancy due to the risks to their unborn baby.

What can I do now?

There are lots of things you can do right now to stop smoking:

Ring your local stop smoking service 01642 383819
Ring the NHS pregnancy smoking helpline (9am-8pm Mon to Fri, 11am-5pm on weekends)  0300 123 1044
Visit the Smoke Free NHS website to get a quit-kit, download a mobile app, or sign up for txt or email support Visit the Smoke Free NHS website
Local Pregnancy Stop Smoking Webpage www.nth.nhs.uk/stopsmoking
Remember it is never too late to stop smoking!

This page has been created using information from NHS Choices NHS Choices Logo