Cigarettes contain carbon monoxide which restricts the essential oxygen supply to your baby. As a result, their little heart must beat harder every time you smoke. Continuing to smoke in pregnancy increases the risk of: miscarriage, heart defects, preterm birth, low birthweight, stillbirth and sudden infant death.
Babies who are born too early or are small and weak may need to stay in hospital for longer. Smoking during pregnancy has also been linked to childhood asthma and even behavioural problems. Restricted oxygen supply to your baby may also cause vaginal bleeding or reduced fetal movements. Contact your local maternity unit immediately if you are worried about the health of you or your baby at any point during pregnancy.
Cigarettes contain over 5,000 harmful chemicals, including nicotine. Whilst nicotine is not harmful, it is highly addictive which is why quitting is tough for most people. Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) will provide a ‘clean’ form of nicotine to help relieve your cravings and reduce your withdrawal symptoms. Creating your personalised Quit Kit will help you stay on track.
The sooner you quit, the sooner you’ll notice changes to your body and health. Look at what happens when you quit for good.
After 20 minutes
Check your pulse rate, it will already be starting to return to normal.
After 8 hours
Your oxygen levels are recovering, and the harmful carbon monoxide level in your blood will have reduced by half.
After 48 hours
All carbon monoxide is flushed out. Your lungs are clearing out mucus and your senses of taste and smell are improving.
After 72 hours
If you notice that breathing feels easier, it’s because your bronchial tubes have started to relax. Also your energy will be increasing.
After 2 to 12 weeks
Blood will be pumping through to your heart and muscles much better because your circulation will have improved.
After 3 to 9 months
Any coughs, wheezing or breathing problems will be improving as your lung function increases by up to 10%.
After 1 year
Great news! Your risk of heart attack will have halved compared with a smoker’s.
After 10 years
More great news! Your risk of death from lung cancer will have halved compared with a smoker’s.
Based on smoking 10 cigarettes a day, a smoker will save…
or a day trip for the family, a nice meal, or savings towards a special birthday
or a weekend away, money towards rent or a new smartphone
or savings towards a holiday, a new laptop or furniture
or extra money towards a deposit for a new house, a car, or family holiday
Your yearly saving could be
With the increasing cost of living, smoking is only going to cost you more. Take a pen and paper and jot down what you could spend this money on instead. Nappies? Baby Clothes? A family holiday? Keep this note somewhere safe to keep you motivated and remind you of your long term goal to stay smokefree.
To help other women to quit smoking during pregnancy, why not use this space to anonymously submit tips on what worked well for you.