How To Quit Smoking When Pregnant
Congratulations! You are about to become a mother. Like any new mother, you want the best for your baby and have decided to give up smoking while you are pregnant to give your baby the best start in life.
This page will try and inform you of the best, most natural methods of giving up smoking while being pregnant.
And of course, I want you to enjoy your pregnancy as well, so the techniques will also be easy and you won’t suffer cravings or anything yucky like that.
So, let’s get straight into it …
Quick Tips On How To Quit Smoking When Pregnant
Obviously quitting Cold Turkey is the best option, so here are some tips to help you do that.
- Don’t Carry Cigarettes With You
Ok, so it sounds obvious but you can’t have a cigarette if you don’t have them with you.
- Change Your Routine
Often the urge to light up is triggered by a certain event in your routine. If you change your routine and avoid situations that cause you to light up, you’ll decrease the urge.For example, if you always have a cigarette with your morning coffee, then either give up the coffee (yes I know, harder said then done) or change the location.
- Take It One Day at a Time
Just concentrate on getting through the current day, focusing on the NOW makes the task seem less stressful. Baby steps baby steps.
- Praise Yourself For Everyday Without Smoking
Positive Reinforcement works well and builds up your self-esteem. You’ll make yourself proud to have given up.
Smokers have smaller babies
But do you know why?
- Often smokers will use the excuse that they want a smaller baby and that is why they won’t give up. But did you know that the REASON for the smaller baby is because you are starving it of food and oxygen
- Smoking restricts the blood vessels (and that includes the blood vessels of the placenta) therefore restricting the nutrients to your baby.
- It has also been proven that babies with low birth weight due to a smoking mother, will often end up obese adults.
Something to think about…
What Does Smoking Do To The Baby?
I’m sure you’ve already heard how harmful smoking can be to the baby, so let’s have a look at the facts of what it actually does:
- * Smoking damages blood vessels, so the blood vessels of the placenta can be damaged starving your baby of food and oxygen (which is why smokers babies are often smaller and stressed)
- * Lung damage – As the tiny lungs are developing it can cause premature development leading to asthma and emphysema as a child.
- * Learning & Behaviour Problems including ADD – Unfortunately the nicotine can accumulate in the babies brain increasing the risk of Attention Deficit Disorder
- * Cot Death – Scientists aren’t sure why, but smoking increases cot death (SIDS).
Of course, these are scary statistics and it is not guaranteed that anything at all will happen to your child, but why risk it?
Quick 5 Step Plan To Quit Smoking When Pregnant
1. Plan ahead – don’t carry cigarettes with you
2. Get Support – Tell everyone so they can help you
3. Talk to your Doctor – they can help!
4. Remind yourself of why you are quitting – for you and the baby.
5. Don’t give up – You CAN do it!
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy will make Quitting Cold Turkey Much Easier!
- Quitting cold turkey is by far the best and most effective technique for staying off the ciggies, but it can be really hard!
- If you go to psychologists or psychiatrists they’ll probably help make things easier by using CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy).
- Basically, it’s a method of helping you quit without willpower.
How does it work?
- It’s the same method used to get their patients off heroin, cocaine, alcohol and other addictive drugs. It works by changing your feelings, thoughts, and emotions about smoking. It basically makes you feel like you DON’T want to smoke.
- It is also 96% effective.
- If you are interested in CBT, the best quit smoking system that uses it is the EasyQuit system.
- The number one priority should be to keep both you and your baby as healthy and stressfree as possible and because this system breaks down the problem into lots of small steps it makes it easy to implement.
- It’s a bit expensive at $47.00. But I guess that’s a whole lot cheaper than patches or gum. (And way cheaper than buying cigarettes!)
Effects of Smoking While Pregnant
- I’m sure you’ve already heard a million times that smoking is harmful to the baby (and you) but maybe you didn’t understand fully what the main concerns are so this article will hopefully outline the facts about smoking in pregnancy.
- Cigarettes contain about 4000 toxic chemicals in them (scary huh!) and every time that you inhale you are bringing them into your body. They reach the baby through the placenta and are also very toxic for your baby.
- The main problem is that smoking damages the blood vessels (which is the reason it can cause heart attacks and strokes) and therefore harm the blood vessels of the baby and the placenta. The longer you smoke the more damage it does to the placenta and the more likely it is that your baby will be starving for food and oxygen. This the reason that many babies of smokers are smaller and stressed, and can be born prematurely.
- Heavy smoking can cause such damage to the placenta that it becomes detached from your uterine wall and cause the death of your baby (and serious risk for you too). In fact, smoking is estimated to be responsible for around 10% of all perinatal infant deaths.
- Another major concern is that the baby grows addicted to the nicotine chemical. While the brain is developing in the third-trimester studies have shown a link between smoking late in pregnancy and attention deficit disorder (ADD) and other learning disabilities. While the link is not yet conclusive, it is probably wise to avoid risking your baby’s brain to nicotine to be on the safe side.
- Even if you are lucky and manage to avoid any serious health problems, if your baby has become addicted to nicotine, get ready for a turbulent first few weeks once they are born as the baby becomes increasingly grisly and irritable as they withdraw from the drug.
As a new mother, you are likely to be stressed enough with a new baby, but having to deal with its addiction withdrawal is not something that I’d wish on anyone!
Overall, the health implications for the baby are far too risky to just hope it won’t happen to you. While quitting can be difficult, it is worth trying for your sake and your new child’s.
Recently Given Up Smoking? Offer Up Your Tips!