One of the most important decisions you can make for your baby is quitting smoking. If you're trying for a baby, it's also a good idea to try and quit.
Smoking during pregnancy means your baby smokes too and can lead to complications during pregnancy and later life.
Other people's cigarette smoke can also pass into your bloodstream and from there into your baby so encourage your partner, friends and family members to quit with you.
Smoking during pregnancy can increase the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth and SIDS or cot death. Babies born to mothers who smoke are 25% more likely to die from cot death than a baby whose mum didn't smoke.
You might even know women who smoked throughout their pregnancies and that have had babies that are fine, but even so, it's a gamble with your unborn child's health.
The earlier you quit, the better the chance your baby will have of getting a decent start. Smoking in the second and third trimesters is particularly harmful for your baby. Even if you smoked in the first stages of pregnancy, it's never too late to quit.
Being smoke free means your baby can grow and develop properly. Quitting as soon as you can and remaining smoke free will benefit you and your baby throughout pregnancy and in the long term.
Here are our tips on kicking the habit for good:
- Set yourself a target - choose the day you stop smoking completely and mark it on your calendar
- Prior to quitting, prepare yourself. Think about how you'll deal with difficult situations and cravings and try to come up with a solution
- Think about changing some of your habits. For many smokers, cigarettes are part of a routine so think about the associations you have with smoking and make some adjustments
- Get rid of all your cigarettes and tobacco products!
- Take things day by day and reward yourself when you've had a good week
- Get an empty jar and save the money you would have spent on cigarettes. Use this money to treat yourself if you've done well or put it towards something for your baby
For more information on pregnancy health and advice go to www.nhs.uk/Start4Life