We all know that it’s dangerous for a woman to smoke
when she’s pregnant.
But it’s also dangerous if a pregnant woman who doesn’t
smoke, has a partner who does. She will be breathing in tobacco
smoke. This is called passive smoking.
Why is passive smoking dangerous for babies?
A pregnant woman provides all the food a baby needs during
the pregnancy. Everything she eats, drinks and breathes, including
tobacco smoke, affects her and the baby.
The more time a pregnant woman spends with a smoker, the
more smoke she inhales. The baby is not protected from smoke
in the mother’s womb.
Smoking around a pregnant woman may
affect the baby’s growth
damages development of the baby’s lungs
increases the risk of asthma
increases the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
After the baby is born, passive smoke exposure also increases
the risk of SIDS and asthma.
What can you do?
If you smoke and your partner is pregnant, you can do something.
First of all, think about quitting – for yourself and
your family. Reading this brochure is a good start. When you’re
ready there is help available.
If you don’t feel ready to quit, you can still help
to protect your baby by not smoking inside your home or car,
or around your partner. It is also important that after the
birth, you do not smoke near your baby.
What if your partner smokes too?
If your partner smokes and is pregnant you should encourages
her to quit. You can have a big influence on her. It’s
important that she quits smoking for herself and the baby.
If you smoke it will make it harder for her to quit, so you
may want to give her some moral support and give up too. If
not, try to smoke outside and don’t leave your cigarettes
where she can easily find them. Give her the best chance to
Quitting – What’s in it for you?
Your help will improve and you will have more energy to
keep up with your kids.
You reduce the risk of getting sick from asthma, cancer,
heart disease and other illnesses.
You will have more money. If you used to smoke 20 cigarettes
a day, you will save around $2,550 in a year.
If you don’t feel ready to quit at the moment, you
should at least consider cutting down the number of cigarettes
Try to delay having your first cigarette of the day
Don’t smoke inside your home or near the baby -
choose a suitable spot outside to smoke
Try to smoke one less cigarette each day
Try not smoking at certain times of the day.
This could be the start of you quitting for good.
For advice or practical help to quit, call the Quitline
on 131 848 (country callers can toll-free 1800 198 024) or
speak to your midwife or antenatal educator.