This content was archived on June 24 2013.
Information identified as archived on the Web is for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It has not been altered or updated after the date of archiving. Web pages that are archived on the Web are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats on the "Contact Us" page.
When chemicals like carbon monoxide from cigarette smoke get into your baby's blood, they can cause harm and hinder growth. Women who stop smoking before pregnancy or early in their pregnancy reduce their chances of having a low birth weight baby.
Quitting smoking early in your pregnancy helps increase the amount of oxygen your baby gets -- it happens after just one day of not smoking -- and increases the chances that their lungs will function normally. Quitting can also reduce the chances of stillbirth, sudden early infant death syndrome and also improves the health of the mother. You will have more energy and you will feel good about what you have done for yourself and your child.
Babies of smokers are more likely to suffer from asthma and other respiratory infections than those of non-smokers. If you stay smokefree, your child will get fewer chest colds, coughs and ear infections, wheeze less and be more unlikely to become a smoker!
If you are pregnant or breast feeding, you should talk to your doctor about what types of quit methods are best for you, especially if you are considering using the nicotine patch, gum or bupropion.
Be careful to avoid smoky environments both in your own home and elsewhere. Tests show that within a matter of seconds after a pregnant woman breathes in second-hand tobacco smoke, it begins to affect her unborn baby. For example, at a certain age, unborn babies begin to "practice" the skills they will need to breathe later on. Muscles in their chests normally go through rhythmic contractions. But within seconds of being exposed to environmental tobacco smoke, these contractions can suddenly stop for hours at a time.