What It Means To Be Smoking For Two
You're going to have a baby--and you smoke. What better
time to quit? And for two very good reasons: you and your baby. Pregnancy can be a time of
joy and stress. It may seem overwhelming to think about quitting now. Even if someone you
know may have smoked during her pregnancy and had a problem-free delivery and a healthy
baby, quitting still offers you and your baby the best chance for a fresh start.
Quitting Is Hard
Maybe you've tried to quit before. And even now, it isn't
easy giving up something that is so much a part of what you do every day. But studies show
that the more times you try to quit, the more likely it will work out the next time. The
stress of quitting won't harm your baby either. So whether you are in your first
trimester--or your last--it is still the best decision you can make for both of you.
You Are Not Alone
Here are a few steps to help you:
- Get help and advice. Let your doctor or
nurse know you want to quit. Once you set a quit date, they can also help you decide
whether nicotine replacement therapy (the nicotine patch, gum, or nasal spray) would be
good for you to use during your pregnancy.
- Enroll in a quit-smoking class or program.
The more support you have, the greater your chance for success in fighting the urge to
smoke. Check with your health care professional, local hospitals, the American Cancer
Society, American Lung Association, or American Heart Association for a program near you.
- Keep those close to you in the loop. Family
and friends can be a big help. Also remember that every prenatal care visit is another
chance to update your doctor or nurse. Look to the people who care to help you stay on
Remember, a smoke-free you is the best gift you can give
your baby--and yourself!
How Will You & Your Baby Benefit?
Experts say that there are both short- and long-term
benefits to quitting smoking:
- As soon as you quit, your baby gets more oxygen.
- You'll feel less winded, and have more energy.
- There is less risk of delivering a low-birth weight baby.
- After your baby is born, there is less risk that your child
will have health problems such as asthma.
- There is less risk of your baby having middle ear fluid and
other infections, which are common in infants and young children of parents who smoke.
- You'll lower the chance of heart and lung diseases for you
and your baby.
For More Information:
An electronic version of the consumer guideline, "You
Can Quit Smoking," is available from the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research
Web site at http://www.ahcpr.gov/clinic/ch_quits.htm. You may also obtain a printed copy
by calling toll free 800-358-9295 or writing to: Agency for Health Care Policy and
Research, Publications Clearinghouse, P.O. Box 8547, Silver Spring, MD 20907.
Source: "Pregnancy and Smoking: What It Means To Be
Smoking For Two," Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, January 1998.