Smoking and pregnancy

Smoking in pregnancy is harmful to your baby. Quitting is one of the best things you can do to protect your baby’s health through pregnancy and beyond.

  • Infographic showing the chemicals from cigarettes moving through the placenta to baby.

    Effects of smoking on your baby

    When you smoke your baby does too. 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.

  • Pregnant woman with GP receiving advice on how to quit smoking.

    Get help to stop smoking

    Quitting smoking is a challenge but there is lots of help and support out there for you.

Read more on smoking and pregnancy

  • Happy mother and baby.

    10 great reasons to quit

    Stopping smoking now will make a big difference to your health and the health of your developing baby. Here’s 10 great reasons to quit!

  • Cigarettes lying on top of money.

    Check the cost of smoking

    Stopping smoking now will make a big difference to your health and the health of your developing baby.

  • Infographic of lungs and carbon monoxide

    Effects of carbon monoxide

    Carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gas. It can come from unsafe gas appliances, burning coal, wood, petrol and oil. It also forms when a cigarette is burning.

  • Woman with nurse at carbon monoxide testing appointment.

    Carbon monoxide testing

    When you smoke, carbon monoxide - a poisonous gas - replaces some of the oxygen in your blood and affects your baby.

  • Woman smoking electronic cigarette.

    Electronic cigarettes and vaping

    Using electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), also called 'vaping', is becoming more common.

  • Diagram of woman smoking in pregnancy.

    Smoking in pregnancy

    Smoking in pregnancy is harmful to your baby. Quitting is one of the best things you can do to protect your baby’s health through pregnancy and beyond.

  • Pregnant woman with GP receiving advice on how to quit smoking.

    Get help to stop smoking

    Quitting smoking is a challenge but there is lots of help and support out there for you.

  • Woman smoking cigarette.

    The risks of secondhand smoke

    Secondhand smoke is highly toxic. More than 80% of secondhand smoke is invisible and doesn’t smell.

  • Blackboard with the words 'myths' and 'facts' written on it.

    7 common myths about smoking

    Smoking 'light' cigarettes is not better for the baby's health. Read about this and 6 more common myths about smoking in pregnancy.

  • Infographic showing the chemicals from cigarettes moving through the placenta to baby.

    Effects of smoking on your baby

    When you smoke your baby does too. 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.

Read more

  • A healthy vegetarian salad with bread

    Nutrition in pregnancy

    Now that you’re pregnant, it’s important to eat well. Good nutrition will keep you healthy and help your baby grow and develop.

  • Pregnant woman looking at wine in supermarket.

    Drinking alcohol in pregnancy

    You don't have to stop having fun now you're pregnant - but there are a few things you'll have to give up. Alcohol is one of these things, because it can damage your growing baby.

  • Pregnant woman looking anxious.

    Mental wellbeing

    Although it’s normal to have periods of worry and stress when you’re pregnant, some women have feelings that don’t go away and this can be a sign of something more serious.

  • Pregnant woman exercising on cross-trainer.

    Exercise and activity in pregnancy

    People may tell you that pregnancy is a good time to put your feet up. If your pregnancy is uncomplicated it is actually much healthier for you and your baby to stay active during your pregnancy.

  • Woman on treadmill at gym.

    Weight management in pregnancy

    Although you will be putting on weight in pregnancy as your baby grows, limiting the amount of extra weight gain in pregnancy will improve your health and your baby's, both now and in the future.

  • Woman having antenatal check up.

    Antenatal care

    Antenatal care is the healthcare and support you have while you’re pregnant. It's very important to make sure you and your unborn baby are both looked after throughout your pregnancy.

Last reviewed on April 1st, 2015. Next review date April 1st, 2018.

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