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Pregnancy and smoking

Smoking during pregnancy can be harmful for both mum and baby, so protecting them and you from cigarette smoke is one of the best things you can do for their health and yours.

Every cigarette you smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, and each time you have a cigarette your baby is exposed to the same chemicals. Some of these chemicals can restrict the essential oxygen supply to your baby, which means their heart has to beat harder to supply them with enough oxygen every time you have a cigarette. Smoking in pregnancy has been linked with low birth weight, still birth and premature labour, all of which can cause complications for your baby.

Although stopping smoking can be difficult, many women are motivated to give up cigarettes when they find out they are expecting. You can use most NRT during pregnancy if it will help you stop smoking, and you're unable to stop without it, although you can't access Champix or Zyban. If you're suffering from morning sickness, patches might work best for you. 

A range of support is available for pregnant women who would like to quit smoking. Across Dorset, there is a Smoking in Pregnancy Support Service, run by qualified midwives. They can support you to quit smoking and provide you with appropriate Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT). You should be able to contact your midwife and ask about accessing the service. Pregnant women are also recommended to avoid  liquorice flavoured NRT products.

Quit Together

We able to help you and your partner quit smoking. We provide 1:1 Wellness Coaching alongside helping you access NRT through a local pharmacy. However, the midwifery team are best placed to help pregnant women stop smoking. Get in touch with a member of our team today to discuss how we can support you.

Wherever you are in Dorset you can access a Smoking in Pregnancy Support Service to help you quit smoking. The services are run by qualified midwives who have completed specialist training to support you to give up smoking. You are four times more likely to remain smoke free with the 1-1 support the midwives can provide along with Nicotine Replacement Therapy. The midwife who completes your booking will refer you to the relevant service so they can offer you support right from the start of your pregnancy.

pregnant women walking


You've got to believe that you can do it wholeheartedly. It's important that you do it for yourself, and that you have the self-belief that you can just do it. Stick at it, you'll never look back!

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How does this work?

The tailored approach LiveWell Dorset uses to come up with solutions to the things that are stopping us achieving our goals, is based upon work done by University College London developing the COM-B model of behaviour change. In this model, all behaviour is influenced by understanding a person’s capability to change, their opportunity to change and their motivation to change. By understanding which of these is the biggest barrier to change, we can tailor support accordingly. This model of behaviour change is at the centre of the support we offer, online and in person.

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