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Pregnancy

The earlier you stop smoking in pregnancy the better, but stopping at any stage can prevent many problems and will be a big help towards you having a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.

If you smoke you're much more likely to have an underdeveloped and underweight baby and increase your risk of having a miscarriage, premature birth and even worse a stillbirth. It is also linked to many other birth defects such as cleft lip, as well as causing serious chronic health problems as your child grows. And it could even be the reason why you have a baby who is irritable and cries more than they normally would in their first few days as they withdraw from nicotine.

But why?? Tobacco contains 4000 harmful chemicals, and one of the most dangerous in pregnancy is Carbon Monoxide (CO), which reduces your baby's supply of oxygen and damages the placenta. This toxic gas goes from your mouth to your lungs then into your blood and that blood travels to the placenta and umbilical cord - which keep your tiny baby alive. So although you can’t see it, just like you can't see that baby growing inside, it can cause lots of harm to both of you.

No doubt about it - when you smoke, so does your little baby. As part of your routine antenatal care expect to have your CO measured. It is really important your midwife knows if your baby is more at risk and will monitor your baby's growth closely. If you’ve never smoked or have given up, it's a great way of letting you know you are safe from carbon monoxide poisoning in your own home too. If you have quit it will be great to see your recovery in progress, as the minute you stop smoking your carbon monoxide levels become that of a non-smoker in less than 24 hours, meaning your baby gets more oxygen really quickly - what a result!!

 

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