World No Smoking Day: The Important Facts
The 31st of May is World No Smoking day!
At this point, the risks of smoking are pretty well publicised! The topic of smoking is pretty vital when it comes to pregnancy and parenting. It can often provoke heated debate and leave people feeling confused about what is safe and what isn’t, so this awareness day is the perfect opportunity to reiterate the NHS advice and evidence based safety information.
I’ll start off by saying, if you’re pregnant and struggling to quit, you’re not alone, and there is help out there!
(The aim of this article isn’t to scaremonger or guilt trip, but inform and encourage our lovely mummies and daddies!)
Why isn’t it advised to smoke during pregnancy?
There is reams of evidence about the risks of smoking when pregnant. Cigarettes restrict your baby’s oxygen, and mean your baby’s heart has to beat harder with each cigarette. Smoking can affect your placenta too – our midwife mummy has told us that there is a huge difference in quality when a non-smoker and a smoker placenta are compared. Smoking during pregnancy has some pretty serious implications, and whilst we don’t want to scare anyone, it’s so important to highlight this;
- Increased risk of stillbirth
- Increased risk of complications during the birth
- Increased risk of prematurity and low birth weight
- Increased risk of SIDS
- Increased risk of asthma in childhood and later in life
We’ve seen lots of mummies say “I did and my babies are fine”. This is purely anecdotal and doesn’t remove the fact that there are proven risks, as well as side effects that aren’t immediately obvious, so it is best avoided entirely to keep your baby as healthy as possible (and yourself, of course)! Find out more on the NHS website here.
What is the official advice regarding smoking when my baby arrives?
If you decide to take up smoking again when your baby arrives, it’s really important to be careful to avoid exposing baby to second hand smoke (passive smoking). You can do the following to avoid this by;
- Not smoking in the house or car.
- Smoking away from baby and wearing a specific coat/jacket that baby isn’t exposed to.
- Asking other smokers to follow the same rules as you.
What can I do to try and stop smoking?
To assure any worried mummies, the NHS can offer you so much guidance and support. Just ask your midwife or GP and they can get you sorted without judgement and they’ll be really pleased to help you! Even if you can’t stop completely, cutting down will reduce the risks, but of course it’s best to aim for quitting. The following things can help you;
- Nicotine replacement therapy – see the NHS info here. This can be prescribed!
- E-Cigarettes are deemed much safer than smoking cigarettes, but some things are still unknown about them.
- Find the NHS Stop Smoking Services here!
To all you mummies struggling to quit – keep on at it. We have faith in you, and you’re doing amazingly!
Lots of love from Team BBY! Xx