Helping after the birth
Adjusting to life with a baby can be difficult. Discover how you can support your partner after they’ve given birth.
Smoking is known to have detrimental effects on an unborn baby’s health, so it’s a good idea for both you and your partner to give up.
When your pregnant partner is exposed to passive smoke, your baby takes in a range of harmful chemical substances, including:
Of course, once your baby has arrived, any smoke they inhale will have the same negative effect on their health. So by giving up smoking now, your baby will be getting a healthier start in life, and you might be able to completely kick the habit.
Sometimes your partner might have had a drink early on in pregnancy before realising they’ve conceived. But after they’ve discovered they are pregnant it’s recommended they give up completely.
“The Department of Health recommends that if you’re pregnant, or planning to become pregnant, you should avoid alcohol altogether. But, if you do opt to have a drink, you should stick to no more than one or two units of alcohol (equivalent to one or two small glasses of wine) once or twice a week to minimise the risk to your baby2.”
Whilst your alcohol consumption won’t have a direct effect on your child, by giving up or cutting down on alcohol you’ll be offering some valuable moral support for your pregnant partner.
If you’re cutting down, rather than fully giving up, it’s a good idea to stick to the recommended daily alcohol intake, which is 3–4 units for men or 2–3 for women.
Here are some handy tips for giving up smoking and drinking4:
If you’re finding it difficult to quit smoking, you can also call your local NHS Stop Smoking Service and Stop Smoking Helpline on 0300 123 1044 (open Mon–Fri, 9am–8pm and Sat-Sun, 11am–4pm).
1. NHS Choices. Stop smoking in pregnancy [Online]. 2015. Available at: www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/smoking-pregnant.aspx [Accessed August 2015]
2. NHS Choices. Alcohol in Pregnancy [Online]. 2015. Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/alcohol-medicines-drugs-pregnant.aspx [Accessed September 2015]
3. NHS Choices. Alcohol Units [Online]. 2015. Available at: www.nhs.uk/Livewell/alcohol/Pages/alcohol-units.aspx [Accessed August 2015]
4. NHS Choices. 10 Self-Help Tips to Stop Smoking [Online]. 2014. Available at: www.nhs.uk/Livewell/smoking/Pages/Motivateyourself.aspx [Accessed August 2015]
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