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Smoking during pregnancy

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It is best not to smoke during pregnancy.

Giving up smoking is one of the best things that you can do for your own health and for the health of your baby - before your baby is born and afterwards. Giving up can difficult but both you and your baby will be much healthier if you do give up.

If you live with people who smoke, this is also an ideal time for them to quit. It will give you extra support, and both you and your baby won't be living in a smoky home.

If you give up smoking now, you will feel more energetic and healthy - ready for the demands of being pregnant and being a mother.

Smoking effects on an unborn baby

If you continue to smoke during pregnancy, it affects your unborn baby.

  • It lowers the amount of oxygen that reaches your unborn baby.
  • Poisons contained in cigarette smoke get through the placenta to your baby.

Smoking during pregnancy increases the chances of having

  • a baby smaller in size than is normal
  • a miscarriage
  • a baby born early (a preterm baby)
  • a still birth (born dead)
  • a baby who has respiratory (breathing) illnesses.

Small babies are often less able to cope with the stress of labour and delivery.

Smoking during and after pregnancy is also a risk factor for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Have a look at the topic Sudden Unexpected Deaths in Infancy (including SIDS)

So there are some good reasons to quit.

More information

Pregnancy, birth and baby 


Smoking marijuana can also have effects on an unborn baby. For further information, have a look at the information in the topic Illegal drugs during pregnancy.

Giving up smoking

Sometimes it can be very hard to give up smoking, especially if your friends or your partner are still smoking, but there is a lot of support available.

  • Have a chat to your pharmacist, doctor or midwife about quitting.

South Australia


Nicotine replacement therapy

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding it is strongly recommended that you check with your doctor or pharmacist before using Nicotine Replacement Therapy as some types of NRT are more suitable than others.

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The information on this site should not be used as an alternative to professional care. If you have a particular problem, see your doctor or midwife.


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