Stopping Smoking

Can't wait to become a Mum?  There's something great you can do for your baby right now - quit smoking! 

Where to go for help

Information for Partners

Trying for a baby 

Smokers are more likely to have fertility problems than non-smokers.  Even passive smoking can reduce your chances of falling pregnant.  This might be the incentive you need to try giving up!

The effects of smoking on your baby during pregnancy

Smoking increases your risk of miscarriage and still birth and can have a harmful effect on your baby in many other ways:

  • Carbon monoxide from smoke restricts the oxygen that’s essential for your baby’s healthy growth and development, and because cigarettes restrict their oxygen supply, their tiny heart has to beat harder every time you smoke
  • Smoking during pregnancy can damage your baby’s airways before it is born.
  • If you smoke during pregnancy your child may develop smaller airways, making them more vulnerable to breathing problems such as asthma.
  • Research has shown airflow through the breathing tubes is on average 20% lower in babies born to mothers who smoke.
  • On average, smokers have more complications during pregnancy and labour. This can include bleeding during pregnancy and placental abruption.
  • Women who stop smoking during the first three months of pregnancy have a lower rate of placental abruption and a lower rate of placenta praevia compared to continuing smokers.
  • Smokers are five times more likely to develop eclampsia which is a major cause of maternal mortality in the UK.
  • When a pregnant woman smokes, some of the oxygen in her blood is replaced by carbon monoxide, restricting the supply of oxygen to the baby, which can affect the baby’s growth.
  • Smokers are more likely to deliver babies prematurely and at a much lower birth weight.

After birth
  • Your baby may cry more and be more unsettled, will be more prone to infections and at greater risk of cot death. 

If you need help to stop smoking before you become pregnant, your GP will be able to put you in contact with someone who can help you.  For more advice please visit or call the NHS Pregnancy Smoking Helpline on 0800169 9169. It is open from 12.00pm-9.00pm every day. Passive smoking (inhaling someone else’s smoke) can be just as harmful to you and your unborn baby.



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A comprehsive list of available online resources to help you through your pregnancy.

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