Smoking during pregnancy harms your baby and is one of the major contributors to stillbirth. Second hand smoke carries the same risk.
It can increase your risk of miscarriage, placental abruption, and premature labour and can increase your baby’s risk of death within the first 28 days of its little life.
Research tells us that babies exposed to tobacco or drugs whilst in the womb are often born small for their gestational age, are low in birthweight, and can be left with impairments to their growth and development. There is also a strong association between smoking during and after birth, and sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI).
That’s why Red Nose recommends keeping baby smoke free before and after birth.
Second-hand smoke in any form, (e.g. shisha/hookah/nargile, cigarettes, cigars, bidis, marijuana leaf), as well as the use of smokeless tobacco and e-cigarettes have the same risk.
Quitting at any time during your pregnancy reduces the harm to your baby, but the sooner you quit, the better. Red Nose recommends quitting as soon as you can.
Try not to feel guilty or ashamed about your smoking. Your midwife and doctor are there to support you and your baby throughout your pregnancy so it is very important that you attend all of your antenatal appointments. By regularly attending antenatal appointments, you are helping to keep your baby safer.
If you smoke and have plans to stop but need help, reach out to your doctor, midwife or other healthcare professional for support.
Living smoke free will ensure the best possible start in life for your baby.
For more information on preventing stillbirth, visit our advice hub.
Last modified: 30/10/23