Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.
* Nicotine in any form should ideally not be used during pregnancy, as it has been shown to adversely affect the development of the baby, both in the womb and after birth. However, for pregnant women who are unable to give up smoking without a smoking cessation aid, NRT may deliver less nicotine (and none of the other potentially disease-causing agents) than would be obtained from cigarettes. As a result, it is considered that NRT poses less of a risk to the foetus than continuing to smoke. Pregnant women who smoke should discuss the risks and benefits of NRT with their doctor as early as possible in their pregnancy and only use this medicine on their advice.
* If NRT is used during pregnancy, forms such as gum, lozenges, microtabs, inhalators or nasal sprays are preferable to patches, although your doctor may suggest a patch if you suffer from morning sickness. If you do use patches, make sure you remember to remove them at night. The aim should be to stop using NRT as soon as possible, preferably after two to three months.
* Nicotine taken in any form passes into breast milk and is harmful to the nursing infant. However, for women who are unable to give up smoking without a smoking cessation aid, NRT may deliver less nicotine (and none of the other potentially disease-causing agents) than would be obtained from cigarettes. It is also less hazardous than the second-hand smoke that the infant would be exposed to if the mother continued to smoke.
* However, if possible, nicotine patches should be avoided during breastfeeding because they provide a continuous stream of nicotine into the breast milk. It is better to use intermittent forms such as gum, lozenges, microtabs, inhalators or nasal sprays, because these can be more easily adjusted around breastfeeding times to minimise the amount of nicotine that the infant is exposed to via the breast milk. Seek advice from your doctor or pharmacist.