Stopping smoking is the best thing you can do for you and & the health of your unborn baby
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Every cigarette you smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, so smoking when you are pregnant harms your unborn baby. Cigarettes can restrict the essential oxygen supply to your baby. As a result, their heart has to beat harder every time you smoke.
Stopping smoking will help both you and your baby immediately. Harmful gases, such as carbon monoxide, and other damaging chemicals will clear from your body and help to protect your baby.
The following are all benefits highlighted by NHS Start for Life on stopping smoking whilst pregnant:
- You’re doing the best thing for your baby’s health
- The chances of having a miscarriage or still birth are reduced
- You’ll minimise the risk of cot death (SIDS)
- Your baby is less likely to be born early (premature) or underweight
- Stopping smoking will help your baby in later life – some people suffer from asthma and other serious illnesses if their mother smoked while pregnant
Source: NHS Start for Life
Pregnant women exposed to passive or secondhand smoke are more prone to premature birth and their baby is more at risk of low birthweight and cot death.
Find our more about the effects of secondhand smoke to pregnant women
Shisha as a source of secondhand smoke
You may not think it, but shisha is also a source of secondhand smoke, which pregnant women should avoid and a huge amount of smoke is consumed within a single shisha session.
A World Health Organization study suggested that during 1 session on a water pipe (around 20 to 80 minutes), a person can inhale the same amount of smoke as a cigarette smoker consuming 100 or more cigarettes.
Like cigarette smoke, water pipe smoke contains cancer-causing chemicals and toxic gases such as carbon monoxide.
Source: NHS website
Find out more about the effects of smoking shisha
Information for pregnant smokers