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by Gill Diskin

Smoking in Pregnancy - Stoptober

During October the nation’s 8 million smokers will again be encouraged to quit as part of the Stoptober campaign.  Statistics show that if you can stop smoking for 28 days you are five times more likely to stay smoke free. Stoptober leads smokers through a detailed step by step programme to help you achieve your goal.  The campaign is launched by Public Health England.

We know that smoking in pregnancy harms your baby. Cigarettes restrict the essential oxygen supply to your baby. They contain over 4000 chemicals and your babies heart has to beat harder each time you smoke. Protecting your baby from tobacco smoke is one of the best things you can do to give your child a healthy start in life.

Research has shown us that smoking in pregnancy is linked to problems such as:

  • Miscarriage
  • Premature Birth
  • Low birth weight
  • Stillbirth
  • Cot death

If you stop smoking before you become pregnant:

  • You will have less morning sickness and fewer complications of pregnancy
  • You are more likely to have a healthier pregnancy and baby
  • You will cope better with the birth
  • Your baby will cope better with any birth complications

Look at the smoke free website   

The good news is it's never too late to benefit from quitting smoking. Because the most harmful effects of smoking during pregnancy occur in the 2nd and 3rd trimester, giving up smoking in the first 3 months of pregnancy reduces your risk of having a lower birth-weight baby to that of a non- smoker. However, giving up at any time in pregnancy will give your baby the best start in life.

When you see your midwife she will ask you questions about your lifestyle including whether you smoke or if anyone in your house hold smokes. If you smoke or have quit in the past 2 weeks your midwife will refer you to the Smoking Cessation Service for support. Please speak to your midwife if you need support with quitting smoking – we are here to help you, your partner and your baby.

For more information on the campaign and to join the stop smoking challenge go to   

26 September 2014