Smoking during pregnancy is one of the major contributors to stillbirth. Every puff of a cigarette has an immediate negative effect on your baby.
Quitting smoking at any time during pregnancy reduces the risk of stillbirth and reduces the harm to your baby. However, planning to quit as early as you can will mean a better start in life for your baby.
If your partner smokes they should quit too, as exposure to secondhand smoke is also a hazard for your baby.
Ask your healthcare professional about advice and support on how to stop smoking and available services to support you or your partner to quit.
What are the risks for my baby from my smoking?
- Smoking is a significant risk factor for stillbirth and miscarriage
- Your baby may be born premature (before 37 weeks’ gestation)
- Greater chance of Sudden Unexplained Death of an Infant (SUDI)
- Low birth weight and breathing problems
What are the benefits of quitting smoking when pregnant?
- Improved health and wellbeing
- More money to spend on you and your baby
- Your baby will receive better nourishment
- Less harmful chemicals in your bloodstream
Who can help you quit smoking in pregnancy?
Your midwife, GP or obstetrician can all give you advice on ways to give up smoking. They may suggest counselling or quit smoking products.
One of the best places to start is Quit. You can call Quitline on 13 78 48 or visit quit.org.au. Specially trained counsellors will support you in trying to quit, without making you feel guilty.
“I’m already three months pregnant. What’s the point of stopping now?”
It’s never too late to quit. The moment you do, it reduces the harm to you and your baby.
“How about I just cut down?”
Cutting down doesn’t reduce the risk to you or your baby.
“Smoking relaxes me when I’m stressed. Isn’t that good for my baby?”
Smoking speeds up your heart rate, increases your blood pressure and affects your baby’s heart rate. Another way to relax, such as listening to music, mindful breathing or meditation, would be healthier for both you and your baby.
“What if my partner smokes?”
If your partner is a smoker, they should quit. Making sure that pregnant women aren’t exposed to secondhand smoke is important to reduce the risk of stillbirth.
Call Quitline on 13 78 48 or visit quit.org.au