Newfoundland and Labrador Smokers’ Helpline

1-800-363-5864

pregnancy & smoking

Are you Pregnant or Thinking about Becoming Pregnant? 

Do you currently use tobacco daily or occasionally?  Or did you quit recently?

There are many benefits to quitting smoking at this time.  Consider what steps you can take.

  • You will reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer.
  • You will cough less and are less likely to have lung problems.
  • Your hair, clothes and breath will smell better.
  • Your skin will improve and you may have fewer wrinkles.
  • You will feel more rested, relaxed and energetic.
  • You will feel proud of your ability to quit.
  • Your baby will get more oxygen and nutrients.
  • You have a lower risk of miscarriage.
  • There is a lower risk of your baby having birth defects.
  • You have a lower risk of premature birth.
  • Your baby will be more likely to have a normal birth weight.
  • Your baby may cry less.
  • There is a lower risk of infant death.
  • There is a lower risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
  • Your baby may have fewer colds, coughs or ear infections.
  • Your child will be less likely to have behavioural problems later on.

Even if you smoke, breastfeeding is still the healthiest choice.  Smoking affects breastfeeding.  Nicotine from cigarettes passes into breastmilk.  It may reduce your milk supply and lower the fat content.  You can lessen the amount of nicotine that passes into your breastmilk by reducing smoking as much as possible.

Here are some tips:

  • Wash your hands before feeding your baby.
  • Never smoke while breastfeeding.
  • Smoke after breastfeeding rather than before.
  • Cut down by smoking after every second breastfeeding, then every third and so on.
  • Change your clothes after smoking.
  • Avoid smoking around the baby.

Many women may start smoking again after having a baby.

Some reasons for this may be:

  • Lots of changes happening in your life.
  • If you quit for the baby and not for yourself.
  • The stress of caring for a new baby.
  • Needing more support at home.
  • Your partner, friends or family are smoking.
Have a plan for staying smokefree.  Review your reasons for quitting and the benefits of quitting.  If you have already quit, consider what has been working for you so far.  

Make a list of who you think can be a good support to you and how they might be able to help (for ex. family, friends, your healthcare provider).

Don’t forget, the Smokers’ Helpline is there to help you as well.  Reach out for some extra support including lots of quit tips & words of encouragement!

  • Phone 1-800-363-5864 (or call the number on the cigarette package to reach the Helpline based in St. John’s, NL)
  • Text 709-700-7002
  • Email shl@nf.lung.ca
  • Online www.smokershelp.net

More support online:

The information on this page has been taken from the “Smoke-Free Mom & Me Support Book”, developed through the  Helping Women Live Smoke-Free Initiative, an initiative of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and the NL Alliance for the Control of Tobacco.  This initiative supports Family Resource Centers (Healthy Baby Clubs) to address tobacco use with pregnant and post-partum women. 

This booklet, developed using the 5 A’s (Ask, Advise, Assist, Assess and Arrange) approach to quitting, will help you to begin the conversation with a pregnant woman towards making changes to her smoking and guide and support her progress.