How Does Your Smoking Affect Your Unborn Baby
The umbilical cord is your babys lifeline. Blood flow through this cord provides your baby with oxygen and the food it needs to grow. Every puff you take on a cigarette has an immediate effect on your baby. Carbon monoxide replaces some of the oxygen in your blood, reducing the amount of oxygen received by your baby through the umbilical cord. Smoking also affects how the placenta forms, and reduces the nutrients crossing the placenta to your baby. Cigarette smoke also contains many other harmful poisons, which pass through your lungs and into your bloodstream .
If You Smoke When Pregnant
Baby is 30% more likely to be born prematurely and have a low birth weight. Premature babies and babies with low birth weights are at greater risk of lots of health problems like infection, brain hemorrhage, heart problems and even blindness.
If your baby has a low birth weight it doesnt mean your labour will be easier.
The carbon monoxide from smoking means baby gets less oxygen in the womb. Babys heart beats too fast. Babys chest muscles dont have enough oxygen to exercise properly and get ready for breathing after birth.
When baby is born he/she may have withdrawal-like symptoms from tobacco. This may make baby jittery and hard to soothe.
You are more likely to have a miscarriage.
Baby is at greater risk of lots of other health problems including: glue ear,asthma, leukemia.
Baby is 30% more likely to die of Sudden Unexplained Death in Infancy .
Women Who Smoke During Pregnancy
Even knowing the potential consequences of smoking during pregnancy, many women still have difficulty quitting, and many resume smoking after giving birth. According to data collected from 29 states by the 2008 Pregnancy Risk Assessment and Monitoring System, Of women who smoked three months before pregnancy, 45 percent quit during pregnancy. Among women who quit smoking during pregnancy, 50 percent relapsed within six months after delivery.
Read Also: Can You Get Lasik While Pregnant
Use Patches Gum Or Lozenges To Help With Cravings
You can use nicotine patches, gum or lozenges when you are pregnant. These will help ease the cravings and are far safer than smoking. You can get patches, gum or lozenges and info on how to use them by calling Quitline on 0800 778 778 or texting 4006.
We will send you a card to take to the pharmacy. Each product will cost around $5.
If you are craving cigarettes, nicotine patches, gum or lozenges can really help. They are much safer than smoking.
What Can You Do To Stop Smoking
- If you’re not pregnant yet, choose a quit date that works for you. If you are pregnant, stop smoking right away. If you can’t stop yet, try to cut down as much as you can. Talk to your doctor about a program that can help you stop smoking.
- Get rid of your cigarettes, ashtrays, and lighters. Clean your house and clothes to get rid of the smoke smell.
- If you live with someone who smokes, discuss quitting together. If this is not an option, talk to the person about not smoking around you. When you can, avoid places where others are smoking.
Make a plan for quitting.
- Decide what times are the hardest for you, such as when you are restless or around others who smoke. Plan how you will handle your cravings during these times. For information on how to deal with cravings, see Quick Tips: What to Do When You Crave Nicotine.
- Change your routine. Avoid those things that make you reach for a cigarette.
- Find ways to cope. For example, take a walk after dinner instead of having a cigarette.
- Find ways to cut down on stress in the first few weeks of quitting.
- Talk to your doctor about nicotine replacement or medicines.
- Ask loved ones or people who used to smoke for support and tips.
- Get counselling. People who use telephone, group, or one-on-one counselling are much more likely to stop smoking.
- Join a support group for people who smoke.
Also Check: Can I Take A Tums While Pregnant
When You Quit Smoking
ln 24 HOURS all the carbon monoxide is out of your system and your lungs work better.
Youll have clearer skin with LESS wrinkles, plus youll smell better.
Youll save HEAPS of money. If you smoke a pack a day it costs $210 every week or almost $11,000 per year. Think of all the things you could do with that cash!
Youll be giving your baby a much healthier start. Youre likely to live a LONGER, healthier life as a Mum. Smoking kills around half of all people who continue to smoke.
After a year your risk of having a heart attack is HALVED
ITS NEVER TOO LATE TO QUIT FOR YOUR BABY – Even if you have smoked for some of your pregnancy, quitting now will make baby healthier.
Pregnant Women Who Are Not Ready Or Motivated To Quit Smoking
There will always be pregnant smokers who refuse to go through the process of trying to quit, either under the impression that the risks do not apply to them or not even disclosing the true reasons behind their reluctance. For women not motivated to quit smoking, counseling should focus on enhancing motivation and addressing the womans personal barriers to cessation.
The 5Rs process can be used ,. The use of carbon monoxide screening or monitoring can be an effective non-judgmental way of identifying maternal exposure to tobacco smoke that might not otherwise be discussed,. MI is also a counseling technique, which can be used with pregnant women who are ambivalent or resistant to change.
Preventing A Relapse In The Post
Between 47% and 63% of women who manage to quit smoking during pregnancy will unfortunately relapse within the first 6 months following birth,,-. Relapse to smoking is also associated with lower rates of breastfeeding among women. In fact, some new mothers prefer not to breastfeed their newborns in order to resume smoking,,,.
There are many reasons why women return to smoking during the post-partum period . For many women the motivation to quit smoking was specific to the health of their unborn baby, so that following birth with this risk no longer present, many women no longer feel the same level of motivation to stay smoke-free. Additionally, strong social pressures to remain smoke-free when pregnant are no longer factors in the postpartum period and women may not be exposed to common smoking triggers such as alcohol and caffeine during the antenatal period. Weight concerns, return of triggers , smoking spouse, underdeveloped coping strategies or overconfidence, less social pressure to stay abstinent, sleep deprivation, financial worries, increased stress are some of the reasons why women return to smoking,,.
Smoking During Pregnancy And Your Babys Health
A huge quantity of scientifically proven studies based on clinical research outline the damaging and potentially life-threatening effects of cigarette smoke during pregnancy. Smoking has been pinpointed as one of the leading avoidable behaviours that are most damaging to a developing baby.
Read Also: Can You Do Lasik While Pregnant
Stopping Smoking At Any Time During Your Pregnancy Will Give Your Baby A Healthier Start In Life
Expecting a baby usually increases the pressure to stop smoking. We get that, and were here to help. We want to let you know that theres a lot of support for you.
Quitline counsellors are trained to help you during your pregnancy. Your doctor, pharmacist or maternity care provider can also offer stop smoking information and support.
Quitline can support you right through to the birth, and in the weeks after your baby is born. Call 13 7848 or request a Quitline .
Mechanism Of Smoking Effects On Pregnancy Outcomes
Nicotine and carbon monoxide are two main derivatives of tobacco that have a negative effect on pregnancy outcomes. Nicotine is a known neurotoxin and exposure to it interferes with normal neurotransmitter function, and when present in sufficient levels can be harmful to the developing fetus. In pregnancy, the developing fetus is exposed to higher nicotine levels than the smoking mother, as nicotine is concentrated in the fetal compartment. Moreover, unlike many teratogens, it appears that nicotine is more harmful to the developing fetus during the latter part of pregnancy, with the third trimester being the most sensitive. CO is a very toxic gas contained in cigarette smoke,. The CO that is inhaled when smoking results in the formation of carboxyhemoglobin , which adversely affects both mother and fetus since it reduces the oxygen carrying capacity in the blood and can lead to fetal hypoxia,.
Although quitting smoking at any stage of pregnancy is associated with improved pregnancy outcomes, there is evidence that quitting smoking in the first trimester of pregnancy provides the greatest benefits. Specifically, women who quit smoking before the 15th week of pregnancy reduce the risk of a preterm birth and small-for-gestational-age babies to that of a non-smoker,. As such, quitting early in pregnancy should be a clinical priority.
You May Like: Vagisil Cream While Pregnant
Alternatives To Help You Quit
Quitting at any point can be extremely difficult, and pregnant women need all the support they can get. Quitting cold turkey has not shown to negatively affect your baby, and studies show a higher success rate of pregnant women. However, cravings and withdrawal may build a false belief that you are unable to quit.
Dont give up trying on giving up. Concentrate on the benefits it will have for you and your baby. Many women have gone through this experience before you and have been successful. You need to call on your determination, mindset, persistence and social support through the worst of it to help you with this difficult task. There are many options currently available, which can make this frustrating mission much easier to achieve.
Known Risks Of Smoking While Pregnant
- Having a low-weight baby who is more vulnerable to infection and health problems in adulthood
- Pre-term delivery
- The baby being born with a cleft lip or cross-eyes
- The baby being born with weaker lungs, which may persist into adulthood
- The baby having a weaker immune system
- The baby being overweight or obese in childhood
In rare cases the life of the baby may be endangered as smoking also increases the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and the risk of the baby dying at, or shortly after, birth.
But the good news is if you quit at any stage of your pregnancy there are health benefits for you and your baby.
Read Also: Can You Have Lasik While Pregnant
A Message For Partners/ Family/whnau
You have an important role to play in helping your pregnant partner/ family member to quit and looking after the health of baby.
- The more support she has, the easier it becomes for her to quit.
- Never smoke around her and baby
- The first six weeks after baby is born can be a tough time, when shell need your help to stay smokefree
- If you smoke, why not make this your time to quit too?
Youll be setting a great example for your kids/mokopuna by quitting smoking. Children whose parents or caregivers smoke are 7x more likely to become smokers themselves.
Tips For Quitting During Pregnancy:
- Gentle exercise such as swimming, walking and supervised yoga can help the body adjust to being without cigarettes.
- If your partner or other people in your household smoke, encourage them to consider quitting or to only smoke outside .
- Dont forget you can call the Quitline 13 7848 for support. Support from your Quitline counsellor plus using nicotine medication , is the most effective way to quit.
Also Check: Is It Safe To Use Vagisil While Pregnant
Positive Ways To Overcome Stress
There is no single way to cope with stress because everyone is different. Here are some suggestions:
- find someone who you can talk to about stressful situations and discuss solutions with
- relax by listening to soft music, reading a good book, doing yoga or taking a walk
- give yourself regular rewards to celebrate your accomplishments
- maintain a healthy diet
- become more physically active to help release the body’s natural calming chemicals and to promote better sleep
Want to quit smoking but are worried and stressed?
- You dont have to do it alone. Talk to a quit coach, support group or loved-one. You can be proud to ask for help, knowing that by doing so youve increased your chances of success.
- Building a plan ahead that includes several quitting methods can also give you peace-of-mind.
How Will I Feel When I Quit Smoking During Pregnancy
The benefits of not smoking start within days of quitting. After you quit, you and your babys heartbeat will return to normal, and your baby will be less likely to develop breathing problems.
You may have symptoms of withdrawal because your body is used to nicotine, the addictive substance in cigarettes. You may crave cigarettes, be irritable, feel very hungry, cough often, get headaches, or have difficulty concentrating. The withdrawal symptoms are only temporary. They are strongest when you first quit but will go away within 10-14 days. When withdrawal symptoms occur, stay in control. Think about your reasons for quitting. Remind yourself that these are signs that your body is healing and getting used to being without cigarettes. Remember that withdrawal symptoms are easier to treat than the major diseases that smoking can cause.
Even after the withdrawal is over, expect periodic urges to smoke. However, these cravings are generally short-lived and will go away whether you smoke or not. Dont smoke!
If you relapse and smoke again do not lose hope. Of the people who quit, 75% relapse. Most smokers quit three times before they are successful. If you relapse, dont give up! Plan ahead and think about what you will do next time you get the urge to smoke.
You May Like: Braces While Pregnant
Recommended Reading: Lice Shampoo And Pregnancy
Pregnancy And Quitting Smoking
Ideally, a pregnant woman should stop smoking. In reality, less than half of females quit when pregnancy is planned or confirmed. If you need help to quit, see your health professional for information and advice.
You can also call the Quitline . Quit Specialists will provide free support during your pregnancy and for some time after to help you remain a non-smoker. Aboriginal Quit Specialists are also available.
If you are finding it tough to stop smoking, dont despair. There is evidence to suggest that stopping smoking by the fourth month of pregnancy can reduce some of the risks, such as low birth weight and premature birth.
Make Your Home And Car Smokefree
Second-hand smoke also harms babies and children. Babies exposed to secondhand smoke are more likely to develop asthma, pneumonia, croup and glue ear.
Every year,1,500 young children in New Zealand have ear operations because their ears are damaged by second-hand smoke.
Make your home and car smokefree . If people want to smoke in your home, ask them to go outside. Dont let anyone smoke around your children.
Don’t Miss: Pregnancy Side Effects Week By Week
Stop Smoking Advisers In Pregnancy
The most effective way to quit smoking for many people is to get help from your local NHS Stop Smoking Services. People who give up with support and advice from a Stop Smoking adviser are four times more likely to succeed than those relying on willpower alone! Trained advisers will offer you one-to-one help.
Depending on where you live, there may be a Stop Smoking adviser who is able to come to your home or talk to you on the phone. As well as your local Stop Smoking clinic, you may also be able to get this kind of specialist advice from your local pharmacy.
Your Stop Smoking Service may offer one-to-one or group sessions. You can bring a friend or partner if you find it helpful.
At your first meeting the adviser will ask questions to get to know you. They will want to know how long you have been smoking, how much you smoke and when you have your first cigarette of the day. They will also ask about whether people in your household smoke.
Together you can work out a plan for how to stop smoking and cope with the withdrawal symptoms. The adviser will help you deal with your physical addiction to nicotine and will show you how to manage cravings and stress without reaching for a cigarette.
Even if you have failed to quit many times in the past, the advisers will be keen to help. They are used to working with people who are finding it a struggle. They have a range of ways to give expert advice, information and support to help you stop smoking for good.
How Can Smoking Harm You And Your Baby
- Your baby may be born too small, even after a full-term pregnancy. Smoking slows your babys growth before birth.
- Your baby may be born too early . Premature babies often have health problems.5
- Smoking can damage your babys developing lungs and brain. The damage can last through childhood and into the teen years.4
- Smoking doubles your risk of abnormal bleeding during pregnancy and delivery. This can put both you and your baby in danger.5
- Smoking raises your babys risk for birth defects, including cleft lip, cleft palate, or both. A cleft is an opening in your babys lip or in the roof of her mouth . He or she can have trouble eating properly and is likely to need surgery. 1,4
- Babies of moms who smoke during pregnancyand babies exposed to cigarette smoke after birthhave a higher risk for SIDS.1
Recommended Reading: Chewable Tums While Pregnant
Smoking During Early Pregnancy
Smoking during early pregnancy is extremely difficult to avoid if the mother is unaware that she is pregnant. When a pregnancy is planned it is best to quit smoking in advance of conception but in the case of unplanned pregnancies it can be quite a shock and extremely worrying for the expectant mother who smokes.
Also Check: Is Lice Treatment Safe During Pregnancy