Coffee Break: April

Published at 03 April, 2023 08:32.

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As we spring forward into April it`s a great time to stop smoking. If you are thinking about starting a family, then stopping smoking is the best thing you and your partner can do. Stopping before you start trying improves your chances of conceiving.

Becoming a non-smoker will also help if you are going through fertility treatment such as IVF. If you and your partner smoke, then this could be a great time to quit together. It is important that you both quit, giving you and your baby the best start, as chemicals from cigarettes have a harmful effect on eggs and sperm as well

Even if you do not smoke and your partner does, encouraging them to quit will help the chances of conception. Smoking affects the ability of sperm to fertilise the egg. The quality of semen may be affected, and the sperm count may be reduced. Smoking also affects the sperm's swimming patterns. It may take much longer to conceive. Did you know that passive smoking or second-hand smoke can also affect the baby’s birth weight?

Smoking 1-5 cigarettes per day increases the risk of your pregnancy being ectopic and smoking fewer cigarettes does not reduce the risk of premature birth, or your baby being born with low birth weight. Smoking also increases the chance of miscarriage

Stopping smoking for a few months at least before you fall pregnant is ideal, but if you are already pregnant it is never too late to stop smoking. The sooner you stop your health and your baby’s health will improve

Every cigarette contains over 4,000 chemicals which can be harmful to you and your baby. Smoking may restrict the oxygen supply to your baby causing their heart to work much harder every time you smoke a cigarette. Every cigarette reduces the blood flow through the placenta for

15 minutes. Even after one day of stopping smoking your baby’s oxygen supply will be increased!

Let`s focus on the positives of stopping smoking. Your risk of complications in pregnancy and birth reduces. You will have a reduced risk of stillbirth, your baby being born prematurely or of low birth weight. Your baby will be able to keep warmer as they are a healthy weight and less likely to be vulnerable to infections. There is a reduced risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) which is also known as cot death.

It is important to stay quit once your baby has been born. Children whose parents smoke are much more likely to suffer from asthma, coughs, chest infections and glue ear

Stopping smoking is the most important thing you can do to protect your own health too. As a new mum and dad, you will have renewed energy which all new parents need! Engage with a stop-smoking service that can help you with a plan that`s right for you both. Supporting each other to quit will make your target much easier to reach as you have a shared goal, shared purpose, and shared motivation

Start a savings account for your new baby and put in the money you would normally use to buy tobacco. Babies cost a lot of money and your savings could buy all the essentials that a baby will need, especially when the cost of living is increasing and the cost of a packet of cigarettes has risen in the 2023 Spring Budget with the recent tobacco tax increase. A pack of 20 cigarettes has risen by 95p and there is an extra £1.75 on a 30g pouch of hand-rolling tobacco. Use our website calculator to check how many nappies you would be able to buy with the money you save by not smoking. This is doubled when you quit and save together!

Spring forward into April smoke-free, whatever your reasons and motivations, and reap the rewards to your health, your bank balance, the family you have now and the family you may be planning to start!