drinking and smoking during pregnancy

Why should I give up smoking during pregnancy?

Most people know that smoking during pregnancy can harm an unborn baby so if either you or your partner is a smoker, you should really give up.

Passive smoking near your partner is also dangerous – if she breathes in your smoke, your baby takes in harmful carbon monoxide, nicotine and maybe other chemical substances. Nicotine could cause constriction of the blood vessels and affects uterine and placenta blood flow; increasing both your baby and your own blood pressure and heart rate. And of course, when your baby is born, any smoke you breathe on them could still put their health at risk.

By giving up smoking now, you’ll help get your baby off to a better start in life and you’ll also have been a non-smoker for longer, making it easier to resist smoking once your baby is born.

 
 drinking and smoking during pregnancy 

Cutting down on alcohol during pregnancy

Many women have often had a drink before they even knew they were pregnant (and have had healthy babies). As soon as your partner finds out, it’s best she steers clear. It is advised by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence to avoid alcohol in the first three months as it increases the risk of miscarriage. By giving up or cutting down on alcohol during pregnancy yourself, you'll be offering your partner valuable support and keeping yourself in the best health for being a dad.

What counts as a unit of alcohol?

If you decide to cut down rather than give up and you drink at home or with friends, remember the recommended daily limit for men is 3-4 units. If your partner is socialising with friends at home, she must keep in mind that lots of people tend to be generous with their alcohol pouring and a pub wine glass might be quite a bit smaller than her friend’s favourite goblet style!

One unit is:

½ pint of ordinary strength beer, lager, or cider
¼ pint of strong beer or lager
½ a standard glass of wine
1 single measure of spirits
1 small glass of sherry

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