Smoking During Pregnancy: How to Kick the Habit
Every mother wants the best for their baby, but cigarettes are addictive and moms who smoke may have difficulty quitting. Only 55% of smokers manage to quit when they get pregnant, so support is vital. Every mom knows the dangers of smoking in pregnancy but giving up can be challenging as addiction is powerful.
While most decide to give up either before conception or when the pregnancy is confirmed, just a little over half succeed and of those, some 40% resume smoking again by the time their child is six months old.
Risks of Passive Smoking
Breathing in second-hand smoke increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), causes pediatric hospitalizations and is known to cause meningitis, maintaining a smoke-free environment is very important.
How to Quit for a Healthier Baby
Ideally, mothers-to-be should just stop smoking cold turkey, as no nicotine products are safe for pregnant women. But if this isn’t possible, then using cigarette replacement products is a better alternative to smoking.
Nicotine Gum, Nasal Spray and Patches – Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) can be used with the supervision of an OB. None has been tested in pregnancy and nicotine replacement tablets are not safe during gestation, but sprays, gum, or patches are allowable if a woman cannot quit on her own.
If she is suffering with morning sickness, patches may be the better option.
E-Cigarettes – E-cigs don’t contain cancer-causing tobacco, tar, carbon monoxide, or many of the 4000 chemicals present in traditional cigarettes. The chemicals in electronic devices are at much lower levels.
If moms still struggle to give up after the birth of their child, vaping will not expose their child to second-hand smoke. E-cigarettes, electronic cigarettes cartridges, and other supplies are available from vaping stores.
Smoking has numerous health risks for the mother and baby but nicotine replacement therapy or smoke-free electronic cigarettes – upon the advice of a doctor – may help when she is unable to quit completely.