Quit smoking in pregnancy

Pregnancy is a great time to stop smoking. Many women do and almost half who stop during pregnancy stay stopped.

If you stopped before you became pregnant – congratulations!

We’ve got a special NHS home visiting team with lots of experience who are dedicated to helping pregnant women and their families quit smoking. No lectures, no judgement, just straightforward, honest help, when you need it most.

We can prescribe free patches or gum to help you through the difficult days – these are perfectly safe to use throughout your pregnancy.

Talk to your midwife or for additional information and to check the support on offer in your area call 0300 123 1220, text 'quit' to 87023 or email oneyou.kent@nhs.net.

How smoking affects unborn babies

When you inhale smoke you also take carbon monoxide, a poisonous gas, and 4,000 chemicals into your lungs. The carbon monoxide gets into your bloodstream and stops oxygen from getting in. Oxygen is needed for babies to grow and a lack of oxygen causes many problems.

Babies deprived of oxygen will be weaker, less developed and are more likely to have birth defects such as cleft palate.

Smoking is harmful at all stages of pregnancy, not just in the first few weeks. But if you're already pregnant, the good news is that your baby becomes healthier the moment you stop smoking. Your body starts to recover, carbon monoxide leaves the bloodstream quickly and your baby gets more of the oxygen it needs to grow.

Watch videos of success stories and learn more on the NHS website.