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Smoking in pregnancy

There is clear medical evidence that smoking during pregnancy increases risk of fetal ill-health and miscarriage


Posted: 2 July 2007
by Laura Lee Davies


Cigarette
With the waves of information around and the warnings on cigarette packets, it's hard for any smoker to say he or she is unaware of the health dangers linked with smoking. Whilst having been a smoker in past years is not going to affect an unborn baby now, there is some evidence that even smoking when trying for a baby can have a harmful health effect and hamper your conception success rate.

Smoking in pregnancy
Even if you have found it too hard to give up smoking when you were trying for a baby, it is important that you understand the risks to you and your unborn baby NOW if you are pregnant and still smoking.
The fetus relies on the mother's blood supply to carry nutrients and oxygen for growth. When the mother is smoking a cigarette, as well as starving her own system, she is effectively passing that smoke on to the fetus inside her.
Smoking has been linked to incidences of miscarriage and cot death.
It has also been linked to notable low marks when a new baby has the APGAR test.

Additionally, smoking increases the mother's chance of suffering from some pregnancy dangers such as increased blood pressure, placental problems and bleeding.

Giving up smoking
It isn't easy to give up smoking, but understanding more about the baby you are carrying and the dangers you are putting yourself and your child in can help give you the impetus you need to cut it out of your life.
If your partner or other people you live with smoke, it's important to let them know there are real dangers from passive smoking too. Try to get them to give up with you, or define places outside the home where they smoke away from you.
There is more support than ever before to help you give up smoking at least until after your baby is born. (Though really, even into parenthood you and others should avoid smoking anywhere near your baby.) A good place to start in terms of support to quit, is www.nhs.uk.


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