You just found out you’re expecting. If there was never a reason for you to quit smoking, now you have one! You’re smoking habit is no longer affecting only you, but your child too. Don’t worry we’re here to help. This is what you need to know.
It’s never too late. The first thing you need to know is that it’s never too late. Even if you have tried before and failed, don’t let that discourage you. You can do this. The sooner you can break the habit, the healthier you and your baby will be. Even if you are far along in your pregnancy, stopping now will make a difference in your baby’s health and ability to develop properly.
The risks. To want to stop, you need to know what you are risking. If you are a smoker your baby is more likely to suffer from these complications:
- Premature. (before 37 weeks.)
- Have a low birth rate. (less than 5 pounds 8 ounces)
- Birth defects. (health conditions that are present at birth)
- Miscarriage (the baby dies in the womb before 20 weeks) or Stillbirth (the baby dies in the womb after 20 weeks)
- Sudden infant death syndrome. (SIDS)
Create a quit plan. Now that you know what is at stake, it’s time to act. First, pick a quit day. On this day you will throw out all your cigarettes, ashtrays, and lighters. Removing these objects from your life will remove your access to the problem.
Pinpoint your triggers. Certain feelings, activities, and people are linked to your smoking habit. Once you know what they are it will be easier to anticipate these triggers and find ways to deal with them effectively.
Write down your reasons for quitting. Think of reasons not to smoke and write them down. When you find yourself craving a cigarette, read them over. Make sure you always have access to your list. Hang a copy on your fridge. Leave a copy in your purse. Type a copy into your notes on your phone.
Distract yourself with a new habit. Find a healthy habit to replace your unhealthy one. Invest in a stress ball to squeeze when you can’t keep your mind off smoking. Workout. Eat a healthy snack. Chew gum. Find something you enjoy.
Find support. Designate someone as your quitting buddy. If you know someone who has quit themselves, they could offer additional support because they understand what it’s like. If not, a close friend or family member will do. When you feel like you are ready to give in send them a text or give them a call. Allow them to help you stay on track.
Utilize your resources. If you are still struggling to quit, don’t give up. Tell your provider. They likely have access to resources that you don’t and will be more than happy to help you get your addiction under control.