When you’re pregnant, everything you put in your body can affect your baby. If you smoke, your baby is exposed to chemicals such as nicotine and carbon monoxide. If you’re a smoker and get pregnant, smoking while pregnant is not advised, so now is the time to quit. If you’re not a smoker, avoid second hand smoke. If you smoke and aren’t pregnant but are thinking about having a baby, make a plan to quit before you try to get pregnant.
If you quit smoking before you become pregnant (or during the first 3 months of your pregnancy), your risk of having a baby with low birth weight is the same as that of a woman who does not smoke. Women who quit later in their pregnancy still reduce the risk of problems for their babies.
It’s also important to not go back to smoking after the baby is born and to ask others not to smoke in your home. This will reduce your baby’s risk of having breathing problems.
How does smoking while pregnant effect health?
Smoking during pregnancy may increase the risk of:
A low-birth-weight baby.
Miscarriage and stillbirth.
Placenta abruptio and placenta previa.
Death early in life (twice the risk of babies born to non-smoking mothers), mainly because of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
If your baby or child is exposed to smoke after birth, he or she will be more prone to illness and breathing problems.
Smoking while pregnant help
If you’re not pregnant yet, choose a quit date that works for you. If you are pregnant, stop smoking right away. If you can’t stop yet, try to cut down as much as you can. Talk to your doctor about a program that can help you stop smoking. Here are some tips to help you stop smoking while pregnant.
- Get rid of your cigarettes, ashtrays, and lighters. Clean your house and clothes to get rid of the smoke smell.
- If you live with someone who smokes, discuss quitting together. If this is not an option, talk to the person(s) about not smoking around you. When you can, avoid places where others are smoking.
- Make a plan for quitting.
- Decide what times are the hardest for you, such as when you are restless or around others who smoke. Plan how you will handle your cravings during these times.
- Change your routine. Avoid those things that make you reach for a cigarette.
- Find ways to cope. For example, take a walk after dinner instead of having a cigarette.
- Find ways to cut down on stress in the first few weeks of quitting.
- Talk to your doctor about nicotine replacement or medicines.
- Get support.
- Ask loved ones or people who used to smoke for support and tips.
- Join a support group for people who smoke.
- Get counselling. People who use telephone, group, or one-on-one counselling are much more likely to stop smoking. I offer hypnotherapy to quit smoking. Hypnotherapy sessions are face to face and online.