Smoking in Pregnancy

Support in Suffolk

Smoking during pregnancy 

There is no safe level of smoking when you are pregnant. Stopping smoking is the best thing you can do for your baby. To hear about Leah's story of giving up smoking with support of OneLife Suffolk, you can watch the video Stop Together, Quit Together: Smoking during pregnancy film.

Smoking during Pregnancy Statistics

In the UK every year smoking during pregnancy causes up to:

  • 2,200 premature births
  • 5,000 miscarriages
  • 300 perinatal deaths

It also increases the risk of complications in pregnancy and of the child developing a number of conditions later on in life such as

  • premature death
  • low birth weight
  • problems of ear nose and throat
  • respiratory conditions
  • obesity
  • diabetes

We know that it can be difficult to stop smoking. There is lots of support to help you quit. 

Stoptogether Logo

Stop Together

You are not in this alone. If you are a smoker ask the people around you to support you while you quit. If your partner smokes they can get support to quit too. 

Research shows smokers are 67% more likely to quit if their partner also stops smoking and 36% more likely to quit if a friend stops. 

         OneLife Suffolk pregnant woman icon

Get support from your midwife

As part of your routine antenatal care your midwife will check your CO level with a simple breath test.

It's really important to know if your baby is at risk, because carbon monoxide can seriously damage your baby's health and it will help the midwife to properly manage your pregnancy. 



Find out support to stop smoking 

You can find out more about useful information, websites and service support from our Support to stop smoking page.

Start4Life has lots of helpful tips and advice for a healthy pregnancy

How does smoking affect my baby?

  • All kinds of pregnancy problems including miscarriage, stillbirth, difficult births and premature babies. Babies can be born with breathing problems and many other health conditions can be caused by smoking. 
  • When you smoke you breathe in more than 4,000 chemicals from the cigarette.
  • The smoke goes from your lungs into your bloodstream. That blood flows to your placenta and umbilical cord, right into your baby's tiny body. This causes your baby to struggle for oxygen.
  • One of the chemicals found in cigarettes is carbon monoxide, a dangerous chemical that gets into your bloodstream.
  • This restricts the supply of oxygen that's essential for your baby's healthy growth and development. This causes your baby's tiny heart to pump even harder.

A case study: My OneLife Suffolk Success Story, by Trisha

Trisha had just become pregnant and as a result of smoking she was told she would require a daily injection to thin her blood. Trisha was concerned about the effects that smoking would have on her as well as her child. 

Trisha came to OneLife Suffolk as she wanted support to quit smoking.

During the programme, Trisha was offered psychological support as well as a nicotine replacement therapy. She chose nicotine gum which took the pleasure she was getting from cigarettes.

Through many ups and downs Trisha has now quit smoking for good. She no longer has to inject herself with blood thinners. Trisha feels much better about herself and is experiencing improved quality of sleep.

With continued support Trisha will helpfully remain smoke free!

Page Reviewed: September 2020. Next Review: February 2021.