Every cigarette contains 4,000 chemicals, which go into your lungs when you smoke. Once they've gone into your lungs, the nicotine, poisons and carbon monoxide cross the placenta to the baby.
Nicotine narrows your blood vessels, which reduces the blood flow in the placenta. Less blood means less oxygen and nutrients reach the baby and because of this they may not grow as well as expected. Babies born to smokers tend to weigh less at birth than babies born to non-smokers.
Our midwife Sophie explains why mums-to-be suffering from addiction should feel comfortable asking their midwives for help.
Smoking 'light' cigarettes is not better for the baby's health. Read about this and 6 more common myths about smoking in pregnancy.
Secondhand smoke is highly toxic. More than 80% of secondhand smoke is invisible and doesn’t smell.
- NHS Choices [accessed 28/04/2015] Smoking and pregnancyhttp://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/smoking-pregnant.aspx
- RCP 2010, Passive Smoking and Children,https://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/sites/default/files/documents/passive-smoking-and-children.pdf
- Smoking in Pregnancy: Communication with Women Working Group (2015) Shared key messages
ℹLast reviewed on October 1st, 2016. Next review date October 2nd, 2019.