Smoking and Other Drugs in Pregnancy
Smoking during pregnancy is the most common preventable risk factor that causes pregnancy complications. Keeping your baby’s environment smoke free is the best thing you can do, both in pregnancy and once the baby is born.
When you are pregnant, every time you smoke it reduces the oxygen to your unborn baby and exposes them to many harmful chemicals. Smoking during pregnancy can lead to an increased risk of:
Having a Stillbirth (Loss of your baby after 20 weeks)
Your baby having birth defects
Your baby having serious breathing problems due to weak lung development or Asthma
Having a partner, family or friends that smoke around you is called second-hand smoke or passive smoking. It can be dangerous for your baby as their airways are still developing, and increases the risk of:
Lung diseases, and
Other health problems
Protecting yourself and your unborn baby from secondhand smoke means that you should keep your home and car smoke-free.
E-cigarettes and Pregnancy
- E-cigarettes/vapes and other products containing nicotine are not safe to use during pregnancy. Nicotine is a health danger for pregnant women and developing babies and can damage a developing baby’s brain and lungs.
- Some of the flavourings used in vapes may be harmful to a developing baby.
- Fetal exposure to nicotine during pregnancy can result in multiple adverse consequences, including sudden infant death syndrome, altered corpus callosum, auditory processing deficits, effects on behaviours and obesity, and deficits in attention and cognition (CDC, 2016)
Getting help to quit smoking
If you need more information on quitting smoking or the effects that smoking can have on you and your unborn baby, there are services available. You can contact your GP, visit the Quit website or call the Quitline on 137 848.
Attending your antenatal appointments can also be a great support to help you stop smoking.
If you are pregnant and using illegal drugs it is important to seek pregnancy care and support as soon as possible. Through regular care, you can be supported through several options that will help your health and the health of your baby.
Substance Use in Pregnancy and Parenting Service (SUPPS) is a NSW Health and South Western Sydney Local Health District initiative to better support women and children. The service helps pregnant women whose pregnancy is complicated by drug and alcohol use. Participation in the program is voluntary but you will need to be referred into the program through your maternity service, your local doctor, private obstetrician or any women’s health service. For more information about the service and how to be referred please visit Drug Health Substance Use in Pregnancy
Local Contact Information
Phone: 02 8738 4683
Mobile: 0417 448 612
Phone: 02 4634 3031
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Phone: 02 9616 8888
Mobile: 0408 602 243