09/04/2018 06:21 BST | Updated 09/04/2018 06:21 BST

How To Stop Smoking When Pregnant

If you’re a smoker when you become pregnant, quitting is the best thing you can do for your baby.

If you're a smoker when you become pregnant, quitting is the best thing you can do for your baby. But knowing that doesn't necessarily make it any easier to do. While it may be easy for some women to go cold turkey, others may find the withdrawal stage difficult, especially when dealing with early pregnancy symptoms such as tiredness, nausea and headaches.

NHS Digital recently revealed that just one in six clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in England are meeting the "national ambition" that fewer than 6% of women should be smoking at the time they deliver their baby. It also found wide variation across the country, with smoking rates at delivery more than 17 times higher in some CCGs than at others.

But if you are among that group of women still smoking while pregnant, don't despair: no matter how far into your pregnancy you are, it's never too late to give up, as your baby will still reap the benefits.

"As soon as you stop smoking, both you and your baby will be better off," said Elizabeth Duff, senior policy advisor at the National Childbirth Trust (NCT). "Carbon monoxide and chemicals will clear from the body and oxygen levels will return to normal. If you really feel you can't give up completely, cutting down the amount you smoke during pregnancy will help to reduce the risk to your baby."

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