I Quit Smoking for Baby and Me - HE2473

August 2023
This resource relates to the following topics:

This resource is intended for smoking cessation providers to use with pregnant women who are thinking about quitting smoking. It contains information about the benefits of quitting for parents and their babies, and offers information about where to find help and support. It also contains a magnetised photo frame that can be placed on a fridge with a scan/photo of the baby as a motivator to quit and remain smokefree.

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August 2023
August 2023
Pamphlet A5
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The full resource:

How does smoking harm my baby?

When you smoke, poisons enter your bloodstream, then pass through the placenta to baby. These poisons HARM your baby’s health.

If you smoke when pregnant…

Baby is 30% more likely to be born prematurely and have a low birth weight. Premature babies and babies with low birth weights are at greater risk of lots of health problems like infection, brain hemorrhage, heart problems and even blindness.

If your baby has a low birth weight it doesn’t mean your labour will be easier.

The carbon monoxide from smoking means baby gets less oxygen in the womb. Baby’s heart beats too fast. Baby’s chest muscles don’t have enough oxygen to exercise properly and get ready for breathing after birth.

When baby is born he/she may have withdrawal-like symptoms from tobacco. This may make baby jittery and hard to soothe.

You are more likely to have a miscarriage.

Baby is at greater risk of lots of other health problems including: glue ear, asthma, leukemia.

Baby is 30% more likely to die of Sudden Unexplained Death in Infancy (SUDI or cot death).

What are the benefits of quitting?

Quitting smoking is one of the BEST decisions you will ever make, for you and your baby.

When you quit smoking…

ln 24 HOURS all the carbon monoxide is out of your system and your lungs work better.

Youʼll have clearer skin with LESS wrinkles, plus youʼll smell better.

Youʼll save HEAPS of money. If you smoke a pack a day it costs nearly $240 every week or over $12,400 per year. Think of all the things you could do with that cash!

Youʼll be giving your baby a much healthier start. Youʼre likely to live a LONGER, healthier life as a Mum. Smoking kills around half of all people who continue to smoke.

After a year your risk of having a heart attack is HALVED

ITʼS NEVER TOO LATE TO QUIT FOR YOUR BABY - Even if you have smoked for some of your pregnancy, quitting now will make baby healthier.

How can Quitline help?

We offer support specially designed to help pregnant women quit smoking. We’ll be there for you throughout your pregnancy and until baby is at least six weeks old. If you like, we will also talk to your partner/family about helping you to quit and making your home smokefree. Call us 0800 778 778 or text 4006.

We know that quitting smoking can be hard. Weʼre here to support you - not judge you.

Use patches, gum or lozenges to help with cravings

You can use nicotine patches, gum or lozenges when you are pregnant. These will help ease the cravings and are far safer than smoking. You can get patches, gum or lozenges and info on how to use them by calling Quitline on 0800 778 778 or texting 4006.

We will send you a card to take to the pharmacy. Each product will cost around $5.

If you are craving cigarettes, nicotine patches, gum or lozenges can really help. They are much safer than smoking.

When baby is born…

When baby is born it’s still important to stay smokefree. The first six weeks is a time many women find challenging. Remember how well you’ve done in quitting smoking. Even if you don’t smoke around baby, poisons from cigarettes will stay in your clothes and hair. Baby will be exposed to these.

If you feel tempted to smoke, reach out for support. You can call Quitline as often as you need to.

A message for partners/family/whānau…

You have an important role to play in helping your pregnant partner/family member to quit and looking after the health of baby.

  • The more support she has, the easier it becomes for her to quit.
  • Never smoke around her and baby
  • The first six weeks after baby is born can be a tough time, when she’ll need your help to stay smokefree
  • If you smoke, why not make this your time to quit too?

Youʼll be setting a great example for your kids/mokopuna by quitting smoking. Children whose parents or caregivers smoke are 7x more likely to become smokers themselves.

Make your home and car smokefree

Second-hand smoke also harms babies and children. Babies exposed to secondhand smoke are more likely to develop asthma, pneumonia, croup and glue ear. Every year,1,500 young children in New Zealand have ear operations because their ears are damaged by second-hand smoke.

It is now illegal to smoke in a vehicle carrying anyone under 18yrs old - whether the car is moving or stationary.

Make your home and car smokefree . If people want to smoke in your home, ask them to go outside. Don't let anyone smoke around your children.

Quitline - 0800 778 778