If you’ve just found out that you are pregnant and are concerned about the effects of smoking on your unborn child, you’re not alone. Many women suddenly want to quit once they find out they are pregnant, but how?
The best time to quit smoking is before you get pregnant but this is not always possible, especially if your pregnancy was unplanned. We all want to do what is best for our children, but attempting to stop smoking cold turkey while you are pregnant can actually be very traumatic for your baby. Stopping is very hard, and to suddenly quit one day will cause you lots of stress.
There are so many reasons to stop smoking while you are pregnant. If you smoke while you are pregnant, your baby has in increased chance of having low birth weight, developing asthma, leukemia, as well as being intellectually delayed. Smoking while pregnant also adds to your risk of premature labor, and it is thought to put babies at an increase risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Quitting smoking is much easier said than done. For one thing, you will not be able to use some of the aids available for those who want to stop smoking, such as the nicotine patch, or gum. The task you will have ahead of you will not be easy, and you may need help.
The best thing that you can do is not stress out; this is also dangerous for the baby. Tell to your doctor that you plan to stop smoking. Ask if there are any stop-smoking products that you may use during pregnancy that will be safe for your baby. Your health care provider will likely have a plan that will help you stop smoking without putting your child under too much stress.
Once your doctor approves a plan, let your family and friends know what you are trying to do. Tell them how important this is to you and that you will need all their help to do it. The more moral support you have, the better your chances are of succeeding. Your friends and family must understand that bugging you about it is not what you need.
If you slip, don’t give up, just keep trying. Don’t think badly of yourself, or let others make you feel bad. The important thing is that you succeed and that you understand that it will not be easy. It may not happen right away, but if you keep trying it will happen.
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Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P., is nationally recognized as an expert on open adoption. A Certiﬁed Open Adoption Practitioner (C.O.A.P.), Caldwell is the founder of Lifetime Adoption Center, established in 1986. She has assisted in over 2,000 successful adoptions and was one of the ﬁrst adoption professionals on the Internet.
Caldwell’s life work is dedicated to educating and helping birth parents find the right adoptive parents for their child. She spreads the word about modern adoption through speaking appearances, webinars, online resources, and as a podcast show host.
She has written several award-winning books, including So I Was Thinking About Adoption, the first book of its kind. There are many reasons women choose adoption, and this short book is a comprehensive resource to make the best plan for you and your baby. Caldwell wrote So I Was Thinking About Adoption as a handy guide to the details of the adoption process.
Caldwell has made over 150 media appearances, including ABC News, CBS News, Larry King Live, CNN Headline News, NBC’s The Today Show, CNN’s The Campbell Brown Show, NBC News, KGO Newstalk Radio, CNN’s Black in America II, MSNBC, Fox, PBS, BBC, and Dr. Laura.