Pregnancy & Smoking

How to stop smoking for pregnancy and beyond

It’s no secret that smoking and pregnancy are not a good combination. Although it can be a big challenge to stop smoking with so many other things on your mind. The good news is that when you stop smoking, you’ll have more energy to devote to the new baby in your house!

Good things for your baby during pregnancy

  • Your baby will be healthier.
  • Your baby will get more oxygen.
  • Your baby is less likely to be born too soon.
  • Your baby is more likely to come home with you from the hospital.
  • Your baby is not exposed to the nearly 4,000 chemicals in cigarette smoke.

Good things for you during pregnancy

  • You will have more energy and breathe easier.
  • You will save money that you can spend on other things.
  • Your clothes, car and house will smell better.
  • Food will smell and taste better.
  • You will be healthier.
  • You will get more oxygen.
  • Your pregnancy may be easier.
  • You reduce your chance of bleeding and miscarriage.

Good things for your newborn

  • Your baby won’t be exposed to the dangers of secondhand smoke.
  • Your baby is less likely to remain in the hospital after you go home.
  • Your baby is less likely to have asthma.
  • Your baby will have fewer colds and ear infections.
  • Your baby will cough and cry less often.
  • Your baby will have fewer wheezing problems.
  • Your breast milk will be free of cigarette chemicals.

What are the dangers if you don’t stop?

  • Smoking during pregnancy slows the baby’s growth and often results in low-birth-weight.
  • There is a higher risk of complications or miscarriage when the mother smokes during pregnancy.
  • Infants are more likely to die of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) if their mothers smoke during pregnancy.
  • Each year 8,000 to 26,000 new cases of asthma that are diagnosed are a result of mothers who smoke.
  • Infants exposed to secondhand smoke are at a higher risk for pneumonia, bronchitis and ear infections.

How you can stop smoking

  • Decide that you want to stop smoking.
  • Understand the reasons why you want to stop smoking and write them down and keep this list with you at all times.
  • Pick a stop date and stick to it.
  • On your stop date, throw out all of your cigarettes, ashtrays, matches, lighters and anything else that is associated with smoking.
  • Tell your friends and family that you are going to stop smoking and ask for their support.
  • Have your house and car cleaned to clear the air, walls, curtains, rugs, etc… of the smoke smell.

How you can stay smoke-free after your baby is born

  • Keep your list of reasons why you wanted to stop smoking with you at all times.
  • Reward yourself regularly for having stopped smoking.
  • Never take even a puff of another cigarette. You can’t have “just one”.
  • Don’t hold or buy cigarettes for others.
  • Avoid dangerous situations such as boredom, alcohol and stress. When these situations do occur, have a plan on how you will deal with them without smoking.
  • Think of yourself as a non-smoker.
  • Don’t rationalize that the danger to your baby has passed now that you are no longer pregnant. The poisons in secondhand smoke are equally as dangerous to your infant.
  • If you do slip and have another cigarette, remember that it’s just as easy to “get back on track”.