Healthy pregnancy

Hands of pregnant woman on her abdomen during visit to obstetrician

Information on programs, websites and apps that will support pregnant women to maintain a healthy lifestyle and to stop smoking or vaping during pregnancy.

The Get Healthy in Pregnancy Service is a free telephone health coaching service for all pregnant women in NSW aged 16 years and over. Qualified health coaches support women through their journey from pregnancy, to birth and beyond to develop and maintain healthy lifestyle behaviours.

Qualified health coaches help pregnant women to:

  • eat healthy
  • get active and stay active
  • have a healthy weight gain during pregnancy
  • assist women after they have their baby to get back to their best health
  • not drink alcohol during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.


For more information visit Get Healthy in Pregnancy » Get Healthy NSW or phone 1300 806 258.

Health professionals can refer pregnant women to the Get Healthy in Pregnancy Service via eMaternity or online at

For local support contact Bri-Ellen Fussell on

Smoking/vaping is the leading cause of preventable disease and adverse outcomes in pregnancy. Pregnancy is a window of opportunity for health professionals to help women who want to stop smoking or vaping. Women are motivated to protect their baby’s health, and quitting smoking/vaping during pregnancy reduces the risk of complications and poor outcomes to their baby’s health.

To protect the mother and their baby, smoking/vaping should be discussed at every visit. The priority should be to avoid the damaging chemicals found in tobacco smoke and vapes by quitting.

  • Behavioural counselling is recommended as the first-line treatment.
  • Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) can be offered, if the patient is unable to quit without it.

Nicotine replacement therapy

  • NRT products are still safer than smoking. When used correctly they have less nicotine than tobacco, plus they don’t contain the harmful, cancer-causing substances found in tobacco smoke.
  • The preferred approach is intermittent (non-regular) use of oral NRT products such as nicotine gum or lozenges, as you can control the dose.
  • The effect of NRT in pregnancy is not well understood. There may still be risks associated with this quit method, but it is a much safer option compared to continued smoking.

Types of NRT

Used properly, NRT can make a big difference in helping people to stop smoking successfully. There are videos that help to explain how to use the different forms of NRT.

NRT when breastfeeding

If your client is breastfeeding, the woman might be wondering whether NRT products will have an effect on their baby.

  • Nicotine from smoking or NRT can be passed on through breast milk
  • If the woman is finding it hard to quit smoking using other methods, NRT will still be a better option compared to continued smoking.

Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)

Health professionals should check for updated Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) listings.

  • Nicotine patches recommended during pregnancy are the 25 mg/16 hours patch – available on PBS
  • Champix is unable to be used during pregnancy
  • Oral forms of NRT subsidised on the PBS are gum and lozenges for use as the sole PBS-subsidised therapy
  • This means combination NRT is not currently PBS subsidised
  • Under PBS rules, a maximum 12 weeks of PBS-subsidised
  • NRT is available per 12-month period
  • All forms of NRT are available over the counter in pharmacies and supermarkets in Australia.

Carbon Monoxide (CO) screening breath test (commonly called a smokerlyzer) is a good tool to use with clients who smoke. The smokerlyzer can detect if clients have been exposed to unsafe levels of CO from smoke or other sources, including faulty cooking and heating appliances.

More information is available on how to use a smokerzlyer:

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