Smoking and pregnancy

Smoking makes it harder to get pregnant and increases the risk of complications throughout pregnancy and can negatively affect a baby’s health throughout its life.

Smoking increases the risk of:

  • miscarriage - 25%
  • stillbirth – 40%
  • death of the new born (cot death) – 40%
  • low birth weight (undeveloped baby) – 300%
  • premature birth – 200%
  • premature rupture of the membranes – 300%
  • foetal malformation (cleft lip, cleft palate) – 30%
  • placental abruption – 240%

When mums-to-be inhale cigarette smoke, babies are exposed to over 4000 chemicals, including tar and carbon monoxide (a poisonous gas) through the placenta.

If you are planning a family, pregnant or breast-feeding, stopping smoking, not just cutting down, is the most importance thing you can do to protect yourself and your baby’s health.

It is also important that you do not inhale anyone else's smoke as this will have the same negative health effects on you and your baby. Use this opportunity to make your home smokefree.

Please feel free to contact our midwifery specialist stop smoking service for advice as below:

Annette Barclay (Causeway Antenatal)
Tel: 028 7034 6500
Mob: 075 8402 3601

Kerry Bate (Mid-Ulster/Antrim/Ballymena Antenatal)
Tel: 028 7936 6799
Mob: 077 9629 0383

Andrea Howard (Carrickfergus/Larne/Whiteabbey Antenatal)
Tel: 028 2826 6104
Mob: 078 8764 7915


Page last updated:20 May 2019