Quitting smoking is not easy. However, for pregnant women quitting is very crucial. The good news is, other women have tried quitting with success. It also helps to know that you are not alone in this.
You already know that smoking during pregnancy puts both you and the baby at risk. Alongside the common effects of smoking like heart disease and lung cancer, smoking during pregnancy also increases the risk of:
- Premature labour
- Baby with low birth weight
- Complications like bleeding and issues with the placenta
It also puts your baby at a higher risk of:
- Behavioural issues
- Wheezy coughs
- Problems with attention and hyperactivity
The good news is, despite how far along you are in your pregnancy, it’s never too late to quit. To help protect your unborn baby, the sooner you quit smoking, the better.
Some women worry that the stress of trying to stop smoking can be just as bad for the baby. However, this is not true. Even though smoking can make you feel calmer, it increases your blood pressure and heart rate. Hence, though quitting could be stressful for you, there will be no strain put on the baby.
What Can Help You Quit Smoking?
Just by deciding to quit, you have to take a big first step, congratulations! The next thing you need to do is make a plan of how you are going to achieve this.
If you feel like you can hack it, you could try quitting cold turkey or cutting down gradually. If this is a bit more strenuous for you, try using nicotine replacement therapy like gum, patches, and lozenges. Even though there is no full guarantee that NRT is entirely safe for you and your unborn baby, they are much more reliable than smoking.
Whatever the approach you feel is easier for you to use, as long as you are committed to it, you are more likely to succeed. We recommend getting help from free stop smoking services for further support. They have specialist advisers who will help you customize a quitting plan that will work for you and keep you on the right track.
If you would rather not use the service, you can tell your midwife and GP about your smoking, and they will most likely help you cope with the cravings without passing any judgment. However, you need to let them know that you’re a smoker so they can plan your care properly.
We recommend getting your friends and family involved. You’re more likely to quit if you tell them about your quitting plan, goals, and ask those who smoke not to do it in your presence. Whenever you have intense cravings, you can call or text someone close to you and talk it through.
If your partner is also a smoker, encourage him to stop as well. It makes it easier to quit smoking if your partner quits as well. If he is not willing to quit, at least you can persuade him not to smoke in the house. Second-hand smoking is just as bad for you.
Make sure you have a firm plan for what you do when you get cravings. You could try chewing gum, drinking water, or just having a healthy snack like sliced vegetables and fruits. You could also try keeping yourself busy with activities like knitting clothes.
Avoid activities and places that you associate with smoking. If you used to smoke while taking a cup of coffee in the morning, cut out the coffee, and opt for something else instead. If you are used to reaching out for a cigarette after a meal, go out for a stroll instead to break the habit. The key is to make sure you keep yourself distracted until the craving passes.
Quitting smoking is difficult, but others have done it, and you can do it as well. It helps to keep reminding yourself why you’re doing this and who you are doing it for. Remember that you’re doing it for your baby, and that’s the best motivation there is.
Keep thinking of other great benefits of quitting smoking. In conjunction with reducing your health issues, quitting will also:
- Make breathing easier
- Make your teeth whiter and skin clearer
- Your energy levels will be boosted
- You’ll likely live longer
- Your sense of smell and taste will improve
To learn more about pregnancy and smoking, visiting childmode.com.