What are the real risks of smoking during pregnancy?
We know it can be really difficult to give up smoking – but it is much better for your baby if you can. Specialist Stop Smoking Advisor Andy talks about the risks and tells you where you can go for help and advice if you want to quit:
“It won’t happen to me my mum smoked all the way through her pregnancy she was fine; I only smoke two a day I have cut down; my baby is protected from smoke; I can’t stop smoking; nicotine replacement therapy is not safe while I am pregnant.”
Ever said or thought some of these things? There is a major risk to you and your baby if you smoke while you are pregnant. You have an increased risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth, underdevelopment and heart defects:
The placenta is attached to the uterine wall close to the cervix (the opening of the womb). Smoking when pregnant could lead to severe sudden blood loss (haemorrhage) and you are more likely to require a caesarean.
Problems with muscles and bones
Smoking may lead to a range of problems such as underdeveloped limbs or club foot and cleft lip/pallet
Increased risk of cot death
Babies born to women who have smoked throughout pregnancy are at risk for the first year of life from sudden infant death syndrome also known as cot death or SIDS.
Your baby may develop asthma, wheezing, and ear infections. One in five cases of cot death is caused by passive smoking .
When you are trying to give up smoking you could use nicotine patches or gum. These contain just one chemical (nicotine) whereas cigarette smoke contains over 4000.
You can also go along and see a specialist stop smoking advisor. We are all friendly and on your side and have the knowledge needed to help you quit smoking for good - it’s never too late to stop!
See your GP or visit the NHS website for more advice