Every smoker has been told: “You should quit smoking during pregnancy.”
There is little debate that smoking is an unhealthy habit, causing potential harm to nearly every organ in the body. Once a woman gets pregnant, that risk also exists for her unborn baby. Still, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that only about half of women who smoke quit when they get pregnant. Furthermore, 40% of those who quit go back to smoking by the time their baby is six months old.
With such statistics, it’s clear that smoking cessation during pregnancy can be difficult, even knowing the health risks. If you are a smoker who is pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, we want to help you kick the habit!
Here are 11 things to keep in mind to help you quit smoking during pregnancy
You can manage short-term stress with healthy habits, while smoking has long-term consequences that are exponentially more stressful.
Even if you are months into your pregnancy, quitting smoking at any point can benefit your baby’s lungs and birth weight.
Knowing that you are no longer exposing your baby to carbon monoxide, nicotine, and other toxic chemicals provides extra motivation.
If you are a heavy smoker concerned about nicotine withdrawal, you can cut back each day until you are smoke-free. Just remember that after 14 weeks, even one to two cigarettes per day can still cause harm.
If you’ve wanted to quit before but worried about piling on pounds, now is a good time to indulge other cravings! Just keep it in check, as gaining too much weight during pregnancy also has implications.
Smoking cessation therapies such as Bupropion and nicotine replacement have been used successfully, although the exact risks are still unknown.
Particularly if your partner or someone else in the home is a smoker, ask for their support and request that they not ‘light up’ when you’re around.
If you usually have a cigarette after a meal or with a cup of coffee, create new rituals. Enjoy a glass of lemon water first thing in the morning, change rooms after meals, or take a walk and enjoy fresh (smoke-free) air.
Visualize breathing clearly, feeling energized, and having a happy, healthy baby. When tempted to smoke, imagine the opposite of that and make the right choice.
It’s probably going to be a challenge, especially in the beginning. Stay focused on your goal and the precious reason you are quitting. If you have a relapse, quit again. You can do it!
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What do quitting smoking and banking cord blood have in common?
You may wonder why a cord blood bank is offering tips to quit smoking. The truth is, both quitting and cord blood banking are two frequently considered plans before becoming pregnant, and both are considered with your baby’s health in mind.
If you’ve not yet considered banking your newborn’s stem cells, we encourage you to explore the benefits of banking cord blood by clicking below.