Smoking and Pregnancy

Around one in three women are smokers when they find out that they are pregnant. Even prior to conception, cigarettes have a negative effect on the reproductive system. Research has shown that women who smoke have an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy in the fallopian tubes and not in the womb which can be life threatening for the woman) and miscarriage. This is mainly due to the damaging effects of smoking upon the ovaries making the eggs to be more prone to genetic abnormality.

If you are planning a family it is therefore of most benefit to stop smoking in preparation for your baby’s arrival.

Unfortunately and despite the clear messages that smoking is an extremely dangerous threat to the unborn baby’s life, over half of female smokers will continue to smoke throughout pregnancy and beyond. This is definitely a lottery as we know that 5000 miscarriages and stillbirths occur in the UK every year due to smoking during pregnancy.

Some 300 babies die every year before they are even a month old because their mummy smoked while they were pregnant. Although this information is shocking, the worst is yet to come as 2200 premature births occur annually in the UK causing lifelong problems and chronic pain for some babies.

Babies who are exposed to their mummy’s cigarette smoke in the womb are receiving the thousands of dangerous chemicals through the placenta, the very organ that sustains them. Carbon Monoxide is a dangerous by product of smoking and displaces healthy oxygen in the unborn baby which in turn can hamper growth and wellbeing.

If mums smoke between 1 and 9 cigarettes daily then they increase their baby’s risk of cot death to 4 times the number of those whose mummy’s don’t smoke. We would urge women to stop smoking especially if planning a pregnancy or during pregnancy to give their babies the very best start in life.

Please feel free to contact our Smoking Cessation Midwife Cathy Bell for non- judgemental confidential advice:
Telephone: 028 9250 1376

Or go to our Smoke Free Wombs page on Facebook.