Why should I quit smoking if I’m pregnant?

Quitting smoking at any time during your pregnancy can reduce the risk of harm to you and your baby, and give your baby a great start in life.

 If you quit before you give birth, your baby is:

  • Less likely to be born premature (before 37 weeks);
  • more likely to be born at a healthy weight;
  • more likely to have a normally developed brain and lungs;
  • less likely to have to stay at the hospital due to health problems; and
  • less likely to die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Smoking can also affect male and female fertility, so if you’re thinking of getting pregnant, now is a great time to quit.

How smoking during pregnancy can affect your baby

Smoking during pregnancy can increase the risk of premature birth, birth defects (e.g. orofacial clefts), ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage and stillbirth. It can also cause your baby to have a low birth weight and poor lung function, which both increase the risk of poor health and disability into adulthood.

How to quit smoking when you’re pregnant

If you’re pregnant, you might feel overwhelmed, anxious or stressed at times, as you deal with hormones and physical changes. These feelings are common triggers to smoke, so it is important to have a quit plan in place to help you deal with cigarette cravings.

Nicotine can contribute to premature birth and stillbirth, and can also affect your baby’s growing brain. If you are struggling with cravings, talk to your doctor to find out if using nicotine replacement therapies to quit smoking is a safe option for you.

Staying quit after you have your baby will benefit you both too, as smoking not only affects your health but the health of those around you.

How secondhand smoke can affect your baby

It's also important that your loved ones do not smoke around you when you’re pregnant. Breathing in other people’s smoke can increase the risk of premature birth, stillbirth, low birth weight, birth defects and SIDS.

The effects of smoking around your baby also continue as they grow older.

Learn more about the effects of tobacco smoke on infants and children here.

Listen to Kathleen’s story about quitting during her pregnancy after smoking for 12 years.

Looking for other information?

Quit Methods

There are so many different ways to quit, find the one that will work for you.

Learn more about quit methods

Quit Apps

Free apps such as My QuitBuddy can be a fun and practical way to quit and stay smoke-free.

Learn more about quit apps

Real Quitting Experiences

There are more ex-smokers today than there are smokers. Find out how they did it by reading their stories.

Read more quitting experiences

Latest News

We publish blogs on many different tobacco-related topics, you're sure to learn something new.

Read more latest news

Free Quit Support

Talk to the Quitline

Quitline is a confidential advice and information service for people who want to quit smoking. For the cost of a local call (except mobile phones), a trained advisor can help you to plan and develop strategies to quit smoking and stay stopped. You can also use webchat during opening hours.

My QuitBuddy App

The My QuitBuddy App tracks your quitting progress, such as days smoke-free, cigarettes avoided, health gained and dollars saved.

Google Play ButtonApp Store ButtonMicrosoft Store Button
Call Quitline 13 7848
Call Now

or

Request a callback
Request Callback
Quit for You - Quit for Two App

The Quit for You - Quit for Two App provides support and encouragement to help you give up smoking if you are currently or are planning to become pregnant.