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Baby on the Way? Keep Smoking at Bay
Risks for Mother and Baby
- Pelvic pain
- Early rupture of the membranes
- Placental problems, such as detachment, tearing, or slipping
- Premature births—If you quit smoking soon after becoming pregnant, your risk of having a premature birth becomes similar to that of mothers who are nonsmokers.
- Being born underweight
- Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
- Attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders
- Congenital heart defects
Nixing the Nicotine Need
- Participate in activities. Go for a walk or try relaxation techniques like deep breathing.
- Drink water.
- Nibble on a healthy snack like vegetables or fruits.
- Suck on a hard piece of candy.
- Call someone who supports you in your goal to quit.
- Think about your reasons for quitting (your baby, financial reason, your own health). Everyone is motivated by personal reasons. Find what works for you.
- Have a hobby handy that you can do right away whenever a craving hits. Some hobbies to try are crossword puzzles, reading a novel, and knitting.
It’s Never Too Late
- Within minutes your heart rate and blood pressure drop.
- Within 12 hours carbon monoxide levels in your blood return to normal (carbon monoxide decreases oxygen level in your body; it is a chemical that is also found in car exhaust).
- Within just a couple of weeks your circulation and lungs improve their function.
- Start with a quit date.
- Look for situations that tend to trigger smoking and avoid them or make plans for distraction.
Assess your emotional reasons for smoking. You may actually find that smoking adds to your problems instead of providing relief. For example:
- You may smoke to relax, but it may actually be more stressful to find time, location, and money to smoke.
- You may smoke as a way to socialize, but smoking is now less socially accepted and you will often have to spend time away from the group when you smoke.
Keeping the Air Clear
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists http://www.acog.org
CDC Quit Smoking 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) http://www.cdc.gov
Canadian Lung Association http://lung.ca
Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada http://www.smoke-free.ca
Guide to quitting smoking. American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/002971-pdf.pdf. Accessed September 13, 2013.
Medication and drug exposure in pregnancy. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated August 13, 2013. Accessed September 13, 2013.
Smoking during pregnancy. March of Dimes website. Available at: http://www.marchofdimes.com/pregnancy/smoking-during-pregnancy.aspx. Updated April 2010. Accessed September 13, 2013.
Strandberg-Larsen K, Tinggaard M, Nybo Anderson AM, Olsen J, Gronbaek M. Use of nicotine replacement therapy during pregnancy and stillbirth: a cohort study. BJOG. 2008 Oct;115(11):1405-10. Epub 2008 Aug 20.
Tobacco use and pregnancy. Center for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/tobaccoUsePregnancy/index.htm. Updated August 9, 2013. Accessed September 13, 2013.
7/21/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: McCowan LM, Dekker GA, Chan E, et al. Spontaneous preterm birth and small for gestational age infants in women who stop smoking early in pregnancy: prospective cohort study. BMJ. 2009;338:b1081.
7/2/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Biering K, Aagaard Nohr E, Olsen J, Nybo Andersen AM, Juhl M. Smoking and pregnancy-related pelvic pain. BJOG. 2010;117(8):1019-1026.
7/6/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Alverson CJ, Strickland MJ, Gilboa SM, Correa A. Maternal smoking and congenital heart defects in the Baltimore-Washington Infant Study. Pediatrics. 2011;127(3):e647-653.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 09/2013
- Update Date: 00/91/2013