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Stop smoking during pregnancy – Guest Post by Dr. D. Narducci

Smoking during pregnancy

Tips on quitting smoking

Cigarettes are made by combining multiple chemicals. More than 60 of these chemicals are known to cause cancer. Smoking during pregnancy will cause cigarette toxins to transport from your bloodstream to your baby. Nicotine and carbon monoxide from cigarettes prevents the required amount of blood from reaching your baby. Since red blood cells are the providers of oxygen, your baby will not be able to breath normally. The following complications can result from smoking during your pregnancy: stillbirth, low birth weight, premature delivery, heart defects, and learning disorders.

I strongly suggest giving up smoking for your own health as well as your babies well being. Quitting before you plan to conceive is best, but the sooner you quit during your pregnancy the more likely you are to deliver a healthy full-term baby. Suggestions for quitting are listed below, for more details see you OBGYN.

Stop smoking successfully

  • Get support: tell your family and friends about your plan to quit. Ask for their support and encouragement. If an individual(s) smokes that is close to you, ask them not to when around you. This will keep your baby safe from second hand smoke as well as stop your urge for cigarettes
  • Plan Ahead: choose to quit either cold-turkey or gradually. The morning sickness of pregnancy, may help decrease the desire for nicotine in cigarettes.
  • Speak to your doctor: Your doctor is a great supporter and can help you develop a plan to quit. Your doctor may be able to provide you with tools to make it easier to quit.
  • Think about your baby and the healthy new you: remind yourself how dangerous smoking while you are pregnant is. By quitting you are protecting the new life inside you as well as making yourself healthier allowing you to better care for your soon to be newborn.
  • Fighting the craving of nicotine: one whiff of a cigarette floods your brain with nicotine, which stimulates centers in your brain for pleasure. Tricks to quit:
    • Chew gum, sugar free candy
    • Start a new hobby
    • Exercise, walk, swim
    • Call a friend
  • Keep Trying: There will be moments when you want to give up or even cheat. Your nicotine cravings will be less intense within two weeks of quitting, so fight the urge!

For more information on this topic and much more, check out our article on Common Teratogens in Pregnancy or listen to the content on iTunes.

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