If there is one piece of advice that I can give when it comes to smoking during pregnancy it is not to do it. Did you know that with every puff of that cigarette you are putting over 4,000 chemicals into your body? These chemicals WILL get to your unborn child. The only way in which you can avoid this is to avoid smoking all together when you are pregnant. This means both you smoking as well as second hand smoke (more on that soon).
How does secondhand smoke affect pregnancy?
Did you know that people who smoke during pregnancy are at the risk of the following?
- Morning Sickness which is worse than normal.
- Complications with the Pregnancy
- Higher risk of a stillbirth
- Higher risk of entering a depressive state after giving birth
- Lower chance of giving birth to a heath baby
- More chance of the baby being born underweight which can cause problems in the future. Did you know that babies who are born underweight have a much greater chance of catching an infection during their early days?
- Higher risk of giving birth to a premature baby. This can of course cause massive problems such as them requiring a greater amount of care in the hospital.
- Higher risk of Cot Death.
It isn’t just you smoking which can affect the overall health of your child. Did you know that second hand smoke can alsoaffect both your health whilst pregnant (and in turn the baby’s health) as well as the health of the baby when they have been born. All of the risks above are exactly the same when it comes to second hand smoke. However, did you know that children who are surrounded by people who smoke have a much greater chance of being admitted to hospital for breathing difficulties in the first stages of their life? For example, Bronchitis and Pneumonia are big killers at this age, and you are putting your children at a massive risk by having people smoke around them.
Ideally it would be much better for you to try and quite smoking before pregnancy. It becomes a great deal more difficult whilst pregnant (I will explain why soon when I discuss nicotine replacement therapy).
How Can I Quit Smoking Before or During Pregnancy?
Of course, there are plenty of ways in which you can try to quit. I will not lie though. Trying to quit smoking is not going to be easy, pregnant or not. Whatever method you opt to take it will take a great deal of willpower. Remember, you will have been addicted to the nicotine in the cigarettes for years, and you are trying to break this addiction. Your brain doesn’t want to though. I promise you however, no matter how difficult it is at the start, it will get much easier as time goes on and you start to break free of the mind-set that smoking put you in. Due to the difficulty of trying to stop smoking it is suggested that you have somebody leaning on you as support i.e. to help you get through it. Perhaps if there is another smoker in your home you will be able to convince them to stop too. After all, second hand smoke is very dangerous to your child as I explained before.
There are a number of different methods that you can use if you want to quit smoking. I think for most people the most effective method is just trying to quit ‘cold turkey’. Now, it won’t be easy, but it is cheap and it should hopefully eliminate that addiction rather quickly. You do need to remember not to be around other smokers at all as this can quite easily trigger your addiction again and all of your hard work will be undone. It is here that you will want to hopefully have somebody who can support you. If you are trying to quit during your pregnancy then just keep reminding yourself that this is for the benefit of your unborn child. Many people find that telling themselves this helps them out A LOT. Sometimes inspiration is all you need. Of course, you will also have the motivation that quitting will give you a substantial amount of money to care for your child when they are born! You will be surprised at just how much money you can save if you go down this route.
In addition to this, many people also turned to the idea of hypnosis. This doesn’t always work though. However, if you find that you cannot quit on your own then this may be something that you should look into. However, it is worth bearing in mind that hypnosis is based on your willpower to quit smoking. If you don’t want to quit smoking then it will never work.
Can I use a nicotine replacement during pregnancy?
one of the top methods for quitting smoking is nicotine replacement therapy. Now, if you weren’t pregnant this is a great way to go. However, you do need to bear in mind that this type of therapy still includes nicotine which is going to be damaging to your child. Therefore it is not suggested that you go down this route UNLESS you have no other choice. You certainly should not go down this route if you haven’t spoken to your doctor. Many of which will actually try to talk you out of it. Despite it still being fairly harmful it isn’t actually as harmful as a cigarette as you don’t get all of those awful chemicals in it which I mentioned previously! There are some flavours of Nicotine Replacement Therapy that you must avoid as the chemicals that make them up could be detrimental to the health of your unborn child. The big one here is liquorice flavour.
How will I feel when I quit smoking during pregnancy?
As I mentioned previously, quitting smoking isn’t going to be easy. During the first few weeks you will get a lot of cravings. This could lead to headaches, physical shaking and much more. You may even experience bouts of anger or feel depressed every so often. I promise you though, this will pass and you will feel much better as a result.