Smoking whilst pregnant and after can increase the risk of SIDS.
If you or your partner smokes while you’re pregnant or after your baby is born, the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is much higher.
Scientific evidence shows that around 30% of sudden infant deaths could be avoided if mothers didn’t smoke when they were pregnant. If you smoke during pregnancy and smoke around your baby after birth the risk of SIDS is 60% higher.
Keeping your baby smoke-free
By smoking 1-9 cigarettes a day during pregnancy, you are more than four times as likely to have a baby die from sudden infant death than a woman who didn’t smoke at all during pregnancy.
Stopping smoking during pregnancy will benefit you and your baby in so many ways. If you stop smoking…
- you will reduce the chance of (SIDS)
- you will reduce the risk of stillbirth
- you are more likely to have a healthier pregnancy and a healthier baby
- your baby is less likely to be born too early
- your baby is less likely to be born underweight
We advise giving up smoking as soon as you can, however, even if you stop smoking in the last few weeks of your pregnancy, it will benefit both you and your baby.
Both you and your partner should try not to smoke during pregnancy and after the birth. If you’re living with your family, they should also try not to smoke whilst you’re pregnant.
If you did smoke when you were pregnant, you should still try not to smoke after birth as this can help reduce the risk of sudden infant death.
We advise keeping your baby out of smoky areas. Don’t let people smoke near your baby and keep your home and other places your baby spends time, smoke-free.
If you or your partner smoke, don’t share a bed with your baby as this greatly increases the chance of SIDS even if you don’t smoke in your bedroom.
Remember, it’s never too late to stop smoking – that goes for dads too! It usually helps when both parents-to-be give up together.
Using an e cigarette seems to be safer than continuing to smoke cigarettes; both in pregnancy and once your baby is born.
As there is no direct research on using e cigarettes and SIDS, we suggest you do not share a bed with your baby if you smoke e cigarettes. The safest option is to give up smoking entirely, but if you choose to use e cigarettes instead then this is likely to be safer.
Getting help to quit smoking
We understand that giving up smoking can be really hard, but there is support out there to help you, whether that’s online, face-to-face or on the phone. You can find what’s best for you!
For help and advice to stop smoking, try the NHS Smoking Helpline on 0800 0224 332 or visit the NHS website.
Please read our fact sheet on smoking.
If you have any questions about smoking and safer sleep, please feel free to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.