The simple, but not-so-simple, answer in regards to quitting smoking while pregnant is to simply stop. Don't do it. But then again, that's entirely too easy to say for those who have never dealt with the very real addiction of smoking. Of course when you realize you're pregnant, your initial reaction for yourself is to do just that. And you may even do so for a little while. But sometimes, cold turkey isn't the way.
Sometimes, you need to ween yourself off in order to prevent you from going just a little bit crazy. And sometimes, there are more solutions than the quick, swift cut off.
First, you need to decide which method for quitting is right for you, specifically. Some methods of quitting or cutting back work wonders for some, while other expectant mothers find themselves increasingly dependent on smoking, sometimes even more so than before.
It's no secret that being pregnant can cause some new kinds of stress. After all, there is a human growing inside of you, and as the wonderful internet can tell you, pretty much anything can go wrong. That worry, couples with the anxiety of giving up smokes with the snap of a finger, will likely just make you want them more. Thereby causing even more stress when you deprive yourself.
There is no surefire, end all be all way to "cure" an expectant mother of a smoking addiction. But there are certainly methods to try out as your pregnancy progresses, to figure out which works best for you and helps both you and the baby in the long run.
8 Get An Accountability Buddy
Think of it as the same as a gym buddy. Because in a way, it is, when you really think about it. Quitting smoking helps your body return to a healthy state, as does working out regularly, and this buddy is only there to promote good health all around.
Having someone there to call you out on slipping up or to be there for you to just call when you're having a craving can work wonders. It's easy to sneak that random smoke or piece of chocolate when no one is there to answer to. But having an accountability buddy makes me think twice about relapsing, so to speak. And after a while, your feeling of shame towards smoking will continue to smoking when your buddy doesn't even know about it.
Get comfort and support from your accountability buddy
But, being pregnant, we can understand if you'd rather no one really know your struggles with kicking the nasty habit. If that's the case, then consider downloading an accountability app instead of going to a physical person. Like people trying to lose weight, these kinds of apps send you reminders and words of encouragement that don't really quit unless you force them to quit. And speaking of quitting…
7 Trying to Go Cold Turkey
We know, easier said than done. Well, actually, much easier said than done. Because completely stopping something your body and mind have been relying on for years probably isn't the most fun thing to do. On top of the sometimes discomfort of pregnancy itself. But for some, this is the only surefire way to totally rid them of their smoking addiction.
While some smokers may stand by a system of gradually cutting themselves off of nicotine, there is something to be said for a strict nip in the habit all together. Is it easy? Of course not. But will you see results more quickly? Very possibly, yes. Now, of course there is the chance of the whole cold turkey thing blowing up in your face and making you crave a cigarette so badly that a week or so after stopping, you light up again.
But, as with other smokers who fall off the wagon so soon after hopping on, you simply accept that you made a mistake and get right back to quitting.
Like we said, going cold turkey isn't for everyone. But neither is a gradual decrease is smoking, which can sometimes not be enough itself. In that case, then consider quitting all together, giving yourself no taste of the addictive substance and your body the chance to de-familiarize itself with it.
6 See A Smoking Counselor
A smoking counselor is exactly what it sounds like. It is someone to literally be there to hear you and help you when you feel a strong craving coming on. While it would certainly be easier to just light up a cigarette, you're looking to quit for a reason, so remind yourself that and instead grab your phone and call a smoking counselor for guidance.
The best part about this option though is the ease with which you can follow through with it. It really doesn’t take too much to switch your smartphone screen from the internet or Facebook app to the dial screen and get the nearly instantaneous help you need. Plus, it's free! The counselors, or "quitting coaches", will give you tips on how to divert your attention from the craving and how to get past your current bump. No pun intended.
5 Set A Reasonable Time Frame To Be Done
One of the worst mistakes you can make as you try to quit smoking is to tell yourself that in a week or two, you'll be fine and totally over the habit. Because it can sometimes take much longer to really rid yourself of the addiction, as that is what it truly is - an addiction. And setting an unrealistically short time frame can just add stress on top of the current stress that comes with wanting to quit.
While it's true that in as little as two weeks after quitting smoking your lungs will begin to react more properly to strenuous behavior or exercise, it is not recommended that you put yourself on a strict, no nonsense time frame to totally rid yourself of the addiction.
Put that X on the calendar and work towards that point
Instead, set little goals for yourself. You didn't smoke all day, hooray! You only slipped up once this week, awesome! Reward yourself for gradually making it days, weeks, and eventually months without smoking at all. And during that time, you will be more open to inevitable setbacks, but not beat yourself up over them, as you have no unrealistic or strict deadline in your face.
Yes, it's your goal to successfully quit smoking so that the majority of your pregnancy can go on smoke-free, but don't stress yourself out trying to kick it in a week. It is truly the little victories that count here as you work toward the big picture of being totally devoid of the habit.
4 Using A Patch to Quit
While there is no evidence to suggest that nicotine patches are harmful to fetuses directly, likewise there is no evidence to back up the contrary. Regardless though, the nicotine it provides you is still much less harmful to your growing baby than actually smoking. And adopting the patch isn’t a replacement for smoking forever. Rather, it is the temporary solution as you also ween yourself off your nasty habit all together.
As with adding anything specific like this to your body, we recommend consulting your healthcare professional first. But once you get the go ahead to stock up on patches, remember to remove them before bed and to keep at a 15 hour maximum per every 24 hours. Opting for a patch may not be the easiest or even most comfortable way to quit smoking, but sometimes that nicotine fix is what is effecting you the most and these will provide that.
3 See A Hypnotherapist for Your Bad Habit
Yes, we're serious. Stop laughing, and unfurrow those brows. At this point you may be desperate anyway so what have you got to lose by considering hypnotherapy to quit smoking for the benefit of your growing baby? Now, if you choose to try this route, there is the chance that it won't work, that you'll lose interest in the in-depth sessions, or that you'll go back to smoking a few weeks after it.
But you won't know until you try, right? With hypnotherapy, you should plan to partake in a few different sessions in order to get the job done. And, we can't stress this enough, you must be open to it. You must totally open your mind to its effectiveness as you work with a hypnotherapist.
Put subliminal messages into your subconscious to help you quit
If you should continue steadily with it though, chances are that you'll see a more than a 65% chance of kicking the habit for good. It may not sound like the best likelihood but it is actually much higher a percentage than other methods available.
2 Replace Smoking With Gum And Hard Candies
See, some pleasantness can come from giving up the addicting habit that it so incredibly hard to break. A lot of the time, smoking can be a psychological addiction. You're so accustomed to having something in your mouth or between your fingers when you feel stressed out or in edge and this calms you. So toss the cigs to the side and invest in a generous supply of suckers, hard candies and gum.
Having your mouth actively enjoying something else could at least take care of the psychological aspect of being addicting to smoking. Will you still have a long road ahead of you as you work on officially quitting? Yes, you unfortunately will. But this healthy and easy beginning is one to consider as you realize that now is the time to do away with smoking for the good of both you and little bean.
1 Take A Cue From The "Yuck Jar" Idea
It sounds like what it is - a jar filled with disgusting things to make you gradually repulsed by offensive cigarettes. Using a jar with holes poked through the lid, add in some water and crushed up cigarettes. When you feel a craving coming on, take a big ole whiff of the stench coming from the jar and even the most seasoned smoker will gag.
And make it a clear jar, so that you can see the liquefied cigarettes and a glimpse of what your insides look like because of smoking. It would definitely be enough to turn off anyone. We all know that smoking is terrible for you on its own, let alone for a baby growing inside of your belly. You don't need us to tell you that or what harm smoking can do to more than just your lungs over time.
Let your natural instinct of disgust help you quit smoking
But the good news is that if you can find use in at least one of these safe ways to quit smoking, then you'll be able to proudly say that you're smoke-free and so is your baby. And by the time they're old enough to run around on little stubby legs, you'll be able to chase after them without getting winded. Pretty cool, huh?