It is easy to be judgemental when seeing a pregnant woman smoke or to smoke secretly when pregnant so that you won’t be judged, but the NHS has acknowledged that this hidden problem needs to come out in the open with constructive help. The NHS has a special help line called Smoke Free especially for pregnant women who find it difficult to give up smoking. The reason for this helpline is to stop the negative effects of smoking on an unborn child.
Many obstetricians and research studies have come to the conclusion that smoking is the most dangerous thing that can happen to an unborn child. There are several reasons for this. The chemicals, particularly nicotine and carbon dioxide reduce the ability of oxygen to pass through the umbilical cord to the baby in the womb. This means that this reduction of oxygen can cause all types of problems such as premature birth, an increase in the risk of still birth and also low weight babies. The problems do not stop there. Post birth a child, who has had a mother who smoked during pregnancy, is at risk of asthma, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and might have brain development complications. It doesn’t matter if the person smokes 10 or even just one cigarette a day, the risks and damage are still there. Second hand smoke also carries similar risks.
If you are in this position, either smoking while you are pregnant or around a lot of second hand smoke, you can change that situation today. For second hand smoking, it is easily remedied by getting the smoker to smoke outside, creating a smoke free home and avoiding smoky places. For smoking in pregnancy there is fantastic support from the NHS to get you through your pregnancy. Watch the video below of how the NHS can help you. You can also visit the NHS Smoke Free website here and chat to an advisor on line or call their free hotline at 0800 022 4 332.