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Smoking and pregnancy

What happens if you smoke while you're pregnant?


Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in health


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As the old saying goes, when you're pregnant you're eating, sleeping and breathing for two. A lot of the things you do can have a direct impact on the baby and smoking is no exception.

What happens if you smoke during pregnancy?

Quitting smoking in pregnancy is the very best thing you can do for your own and your baby’s health. If you smoke when pregnant, the poisonous substances you breathe in from cigarettes get into your bloodstream and from there into the baby’s bloodstream.
You and your baby deserve the best chance of good health and you are responsible for the health of your baby. So you need to think seriously about the effects smoking, alcohol or other drugs can have on you and your unborn baby.

READ: Ready to quit smoking? Here's how.

Quitting will benefit both you and your baby immediately.  Harmful gases like carbon monoxide and other damaging chemicals will clear from your body. When you quit smoking:

  • You will have less morning sickness and fewer complications in pregnancy.
  • You are more likely to have a healthier pregnancy and a healthier baby.
  • You will reduce the risk of stillbirth.
  • You will cope better with the birth.
  • Your baby is less likely to be born too early and have to face the additional breathing, feeding and health problems that often go with being premature.
  • You will reduce the risk of cot death, also called sudden infant death
  • Stopping smoking will also benefit your baby later in life.  Children whose parents smoke are more likely to suffer from asthma and other more serious illnesses that may need hospital treatment.
  • When you quit you will have more money for the expense of a new baby. Bringing baby home to a smoke free home is the best start you can give to your baby.
  • Your breast milk will be a better quality and better supply for feeding your baby. Remember if you are smoking, the nicotine will be present in the breast milk and pass on to the baby.

READ: Learn even more about smoking and your health

Get help to QUIT smoking

  • Visit SpunOut's  page on quitting smoking
  • Visit www.quit.ie for tips on how to quit, or visit the Quit Facebook page to read stories from smokers who are quitting, and to share your own.
  • Call the Quitline on Freephone 1800 201 203 to talk to someone who understands and can help you quit.
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Published February 20th, 2013
Last updated September 28th, 2015
Tags pregnancy smoking quit smoking
Can this be improved? Contact editor@spunout.ie if you have any suggestions for this article.

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