Young mum, Shedenise talks about how and why she gave up smoking when she was pregnant, and how she coped with cravings.
Protecting your baby from tobacco smoke is one of the best things you can do to give your child a healthy start in life. The sooner you stop smoking, the better, but stopping even in the last few weeks of your pregnancy will benefit you and your baby immediately.
If you stop smoking:
- you will reduce the chance of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
- you will reduce the chance of stillbirth
- you will have less morning sickness and fewer complications in pregnancy
- you are more likely to have a healthier pregnancy and a healthier baby
- your baby is less likely to be born too early and have to face the additional breathing, feeding and health problems which often go with being premature
- your baby is less likely to be born underweight and have a problem keeping warm: babies of women who smoke are, on average, 200g (about 8oz) lighter than other babies, and may have problems during and after labour and are more prone to infection
Getting help with stopping smoking
It is not easy giving up smoking. But getting some support, like Shedenise did, can really help.
- Be honest with your midwife and health visitor and ask for advice on stopping smoking.
- Also ask for details of your nearest NHS Stop Smoking service; they can offer support with trained stop smoking advisers and may even have a pregnancy stop smoking specialist.
- You can also visit the NHS website or call the NHS Pregnancy Smoking Helpline on 0800 123 1044 (open from 9am to 8pm Monday to Friday, and from 11am to 5pm at weekends). The helpline offers free help, support and advice on stopping smoking when you’re pregnant.