Birmingham City Council financial challenges - time to Reset

To find out more about the budget and section 114 notice, visit our budget information page

Smoking in pregnancy

This information is for you if:

  • you smoke and are either already pregnant or thinking about having a baby
  • you are exposed to tobacco smoke at home
  • are a partner or relative of women who smoke

The harmful part of smoking to you and your baby is the tar and carbon monoxide along with 4,000 other chemicals, not the nicotine itself.

Main points

  • Smoking in pregnancy is harmful to you and your baby
  • Passive smoking can also harm you and your baby
  • The risks of smoking during pregnancy are serious, from premature delivery to increased risk of miscarriage, stillbirth or sudden infant death.
  • If you smoke, the best thing you can do is to stop. Stopping at any time in pregnancy will help, although the sooner the better as it will give your baby the best possible start in life
  • You should stop completely (rather than just cut down), ideally before getting pregnant
  • You and your partner will be offered help, advice and support to stop smoking
  • You will be offered carbon monoxide (CO) testing early on your pregnancy journey
  • Switching to stop smoking medicines such as nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) can help stop the cravings and reduces harm
  • Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is safe to use during pregnancy, but seek advice from health professionals about which products suitable are suitable for you

Professional health bodies, such as midwives, GPs and Public Health all back switching. Contact your midwife or GP for advice on stop smoking medicines (NRT).

It is never too late to stop smoking and your healthcare team will support you throughout your pregnancy.

More information

For more information on smoking in pregnancy visit: NHS Smoke free.

You can also get local support by visiting: Birmingham and Solihull United Maternity and Newborn Partnership (Bump) and reading their smokefree pregnancy leaflet.


Page last updated: 26 October 2023

rating button