If you just found out you’re having a baby, congratulations! This is a life-transforming event. For some women, that is motivation enough to quit smoking, but for many more they find it just too difficult to quit smoking while pregnant. The cravings are still there and some women feel like the smoking keeps them calm and less stressed with all of the planning and preparation for having a child. Despite the negative stigma associated with smoking during pregnancy, many women try to hide their habit or cut back. Instead of smoking a pack a day, for example, they might just reach for three or four cigarettes spaced out during the day.
Is this harmless? Well, just as with anyone trying to quit smoking, there is really nothing harmless about it. Not only does it put the fetus in jeopardy, but it also poses a higher risk to the mother. You want to be there to see your baby grow up, and despite every smoker’s ultimate goal of quitting “someday” it can take years to do.
Side effects of smoking to your baby
Decreased oxygen to baby
Increased risk of SIDS
Respiratory risks with baby needing to spend time in NICU after birth
Mother may be out of breath, especially in the latter stages of pregnancy and have complications in delivery
Potential for child to develop asthma later on
Lower birth weight
Possibility of birth defects
5 Tips to Quit Smoking While Pregnant
Look up pictures of babies born with defects online. This may be harsh, yet effective. Every time you light up you will be reminded of the human being you have at stake that is depending on you already as a source of life.
Tape a picture of your ultrasound to the box of cigarettes (or a picture of a baby from a magazine). Every time you pick it up, let it be a reminder of why you shouldn’t smoke.
Instead of quitting cold turkey, try smoking an e-cigarette or vape product instead. You will still get that fix of nicotine and both you and your baby will not suffer from withdrawals. They may help you to give up tobacco cigarettes altogether!
Weaning Method: Take one last pack of cigarettes and divide it up; if you can’t quit on the spot. Set them aside and make a pact to never buy another pack after they’re gone. On the first day, set aside four cigarettes and hide the rest. The next day, three; the day after, two; and finally one cigarette per day until you have none remaining. That’s it!
Constantly motivate and remind yourself why it is so important to quit. Say positive things in the mirror and read things that inspire you.