Parenting

SIL smoking while PG (long vent)

She was smoking when she was newly PG, saying, "I'm doing good, I'm down to like 4 or 5 a day."  This I know was BS because one evening I saw her go out to smoke like 4 times in a matter of 3 hours.  My brother smokes too, and sticks up for her, saying she's "doing good" because she used to smoke 2 packs a day before getting PG.  BTW, my brother also smokes right next to her, even in the house, even in the room they sleep in.  I've even seen him hand her cigarettes.

EVERYONE has been saying things to her:  me, my mom, my other brother and FSIL, her family, her friends, her co-workers, etc.  Her response is always, "I know..." in a guilty tone.

She's 18 weeks now, and I thought she was done, that she had quit because I hadn't seen her smoke in quite a while.  Well...I went to my parents' house for a visit the other day, and I looked out on their back patio to see where everyone was when I got there, and there she was, taking her last big puff off a cigarette and putting it out.  My heart broke at that second.  I did not speak to either of them for the rest of the visit.  I stayed in a different room because I couldn't stand to be around them.  They came in to say goodbye to me and I was short with them.

 My parents won't say anything to either of them, and don't want us to either, because they don't want to make waves within the family.  My mom smoked while she was PG with all 3 of us.  That was in the 70s, and according to her and other moms I know from that era, they "weren't aware" that it was bad for the baby...I don't know just how true that is, but whatever.  My mom said that if she would've known then what she knows now about it, she would've quit immediately.  But, she said something once to my SIL and has not said anything since.  This is probably why my brother thinks it's ok to smoke while PG ("all 3 of us are fine," he says), and why SIL feels ok doing it in front of them.  My parents get upset when my other brother and FSIL & I say anything about it.

 I feel so heartbroken for my little niece or nephew.  It makes me so sad just to think about it, and this should be a happy time for the family.  I wish there was something I could do to make them stop.  My brother said she was even looking on the internet at articles about smoking while PG and "getting freaked out."  Not freaked out enough to stop, I guess.  This is causing an emotional rift in our family and I don't know what to do.  Does anyone know of any articles that are particularly frightening about smoking while PG that I could email to them?  I don't know if that would do any good, but maybe it's worth a try...

Any other suggestions?  Or should I just stay out of it? 

I appreciate any advice - thanks in advance.

Re: SIL smoking while PG (long vent)

  • stay out of it.  Its very hard to quit.  She's doing what she can....she knows the dangers but her addiction is very strong.  Rather than being judgemental and all hard on her try being supportive.
    Josh-10/1/87, Brittany 3/9/91, Mandi 7/26/92, Michelle 9/11/06 image I'M GRAPE JELLY- ALWAYS AROUND & ALWAYS THE SAME If I leave here tomorrow, would you still remember me. For I must be traveling on now. Because there are too many places I've got to see. -Allen Collins & Ronnie VanZant My favorite verse!
  • I'm sorry :-(Here's my two cents....If she wanted to quit, she would've by now. I don't think anything anyone says to her will do much good. Tobacco is such an addictive drug. I just hope she's open with her OB about smoking, because there are programs out there for pg women trying to quit, so her dr. may have some good resources available to her.
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  • I'd be upset, too.  It might be over better if you take an approach where you ask her if there is anything you could to support her in quitting.  Kind of an "I know you really want to quit, but you're having a hard time.  How can I help?" type of thing.  She probably knows how bad it is to smoke while pg, and it sounds as is she isn't getting any support in quitting from her husband.  It has to be hard to stop a habit like that when you have someone constantly doing it around you (plus the thinking its OK).
  • image KrisBriMcBunny:
    stay out of it.  Its very hard to quit.  She's doing what she can....she knows the dangers but her addiction is very strong.  Rather than being judgemental and all hard on her try being supportive.

    I agree with this. It really is none of your business. So many things can be dangerous while pregnant. The stress from quitting can be worse on the baby than the actual smoking. Smoking can lead to low birth weight and possibly a risk of the child having ADD. Stress can cause many more complications.

    You're right, it is supposed to be a happy time. Try being supportive instead of giving them the silent treatment.

  • Stay out of it. It's none of your business.
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  • Thanks for the advice so far, everyone. I should also add that she has a heart condition.  Her doctor doesn't think she will be able to go through labor, so he is scheduling a c-section for her.
  • image Scuba_Girl:
    Thanks for the advice so far, everyone. I should also add that she has a heart condition.  Her doctor doesn't think she will be able to go through labor, so he is scheduling a c-section for her.

    Even more of a reason for her not to stress. Really, the baby will be fine. Just try and be supportive even though you are against it. 

  • image Scuba_Girl:
    Thanks for the advice so far, everyone. I should also add that she has a heart condition.  Her doctor doesn't think she will be able to go through labor, so he is scheduling a c-section for her.

    Again, not your business. I understand why you would be horrified, but you need to keep it to yourself.

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  • My sister smoked while PG and it bothered me but what could I do? I was more bother that she smoked while PG and then proceeded to lecture me about eating my ham sandwiches and having a can of Coke now and again.

    BTW, my neice is fine. While smoking is not a choice I would make, I do think a lot of the PG 'rules' are overblown and radical for the normal, healthy PG woman.

     

  • dpdwdpdw
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    image emilykristene2006:
    image Scuba_Girl:
    Thanks for the advice so far, everyone. I should also add that she has a heart condition.  Her doctor doesn't think she will be able to go through labor, so he is scheduling a c-section for her.

    Even more of a reason for her not to stress. Really, the baby will be fine. Just try and be supportive even though you are against it. 

    Ditto. 

  • Thanks again.  It's so hard to be excited or even supportive when I am worrying about the baby.  That's why I had to leave the room...I couldn't be around them being upset.  I will continue trying though.

  • Probably the best thing you can do at this point is to try to get them to stop smoking in the house.  I think smoking around a newborn is actually worse than smoking while pg.  I can certainly see why you are upset but I don't think there is too much more you can do.
  • image BrainySmurfette:
    I'd be upset, too.? It might be over better if you take an approach where you ask her if there is anything you could to support her in quitting.? Kind of an "I know you really want to quit, but you're having a hard time.? How can I help?" type of thing.? She probably knows how bad it is to smoke while pg, and it sounds as is she isn't getting any support in quitting from her husband.? It has to be hard to stop a habit like that when you have someone constantly doing it around you (plus the thinking its OK).

    I think this is a good idea. I'd give it one more effort with a positive spin on it. FWIW, I was a smoker when I got pg, and once I got that positive pg test, I couldn't fathom lighting up again. In fact it was SO much easier to quit for my baby. I had tried to quit before for me and struggled, but once I knew another tiny little person was involved, it was no problem. So I would be having a really hard time understanding your SIL's actions right now too. ?

  • image Scuba_Girl:
    Thanks for the advice so far, everyone. I should also add that she has a heart condition.  Her doctor doesn't think she will be able to go through labor, so he is scheduling a c-section for her.


    I hate to be harsh, but get out of their business.  I agree that smoking during pregnancy is bad, but I've also had a friend (who also smoked multiple packs/day) be told by her OB that going cold turkey would be even worse for the baby, so he allowed her 4 cigarettes/day. 
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  • They know what they're doing is unhealthy for them and the baby. Nothing you could say would change that. I'm sure she wants to quit, just doesn't really know how. It's hard for me to imagine, because my first thought is "why the hell would she do somehting so selfish and stupid?" But when you think about it, it's just not that simple.
  • I smoked before I was pregnant.  I cut way down while TTC, and then quit as soon as I thought I might be pg.  I can tell you that what Emily and krisbri said is true.  My OB told me I did not have to quit cold turkey because that could be worse for the baby if it stressed me.  It's a very hard habit to drop.  I think that is evident since she has a heart condition which didn't make her quit.
  • image emilykristene2006:

    image KrisBriMcBunny:
    stay out of it.  Its very hard to quit.  She's doing what she can....she knows the dangers but her addiction is very strong.  Rather than being judgemental and all hard on her try being supportive.

    I agree with this. It really is none of your business. So many things can be dangerous while pregnant. The stress from quitting can be worse on the baby than the actual smoking. Smoking can lead to low birth weight and possibly a risk of the child having ADD. Stress can cause many more complications.

    You're right, it is supposed to be a happy time. Try being supportive instead of giving them the silent treatment.

    all of this. I have heard several OBs say what Emily just did.
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  • image r9stedt:
    image emilykristene2006:

    image KrisBriMcBunny:
    stay out of it.  Its very hard to quit.  She's doing what she can....she knows the dangers but her addiction is very strong.  Rather than being judgemental and all hard on her try being supportive.

    I agree with this. It really is none of your business. So many things can be dangerous while pregnant. The stress from quitting can be worse on the baby than the actual smoking. Smoking can lead to low birth weight and possibly a risk of the child having ADD. Stress can cause many more complications.

    You're right, it is supposed to be a happy time. Try being supportive instead of giving them the silent treatment.

    all of this. I have heard several OBs say what Emily just did.

    All I can say is that I am speaking from experience.

  • How f'ing selfish! I don't blame you for being upset about it. You would think even if she doesn't care about her health that she would care about her baby's health. I would gather up as much info as your including pictures of what can happen and give it to them in a folder. Do they plan on smoking around the baby once he/she is here?? I would stress to them while smoking is bad each and every single time I saw them. If that makes me a b!tch so be it. I feel so bad for that baby. The thought of that baby having the breath in all that smoke makes me want to gag.

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  • I'm trying to figure out how ignoring her and being short with her will help her quit????  Really?  Having family pissed off that you are addictted to smoking will help?? trust me, it doesn't.

    My mom, sister and I were mean to my dad for YEARS and YEARS about his smoking...we replaced his cigarettes with the patch or gum.  We would break them all in half, we would yell at him if we caught him smoking.

    Then about 5 years ago, my mom quit....she couldn't fight the fight anymore...she was done "nagging"....She threw her arms up, said "fine!  get your crap in order because I"m going to be a widow some day." and never said another thing about his smoking (And my dad did get everything in order in case he dies...morbid, huh)

    about 3 years ago....right after chantix came out....my dad quit...went on chantix and hasn't smoked again....the man started smoking when he was 12 or 13 (his mom smoked..he used to buy her packs from the store and buy himself an extra pack)...and he quit when he was 57.  45 years of 1-2 packs a day.

    I am pretty sure if my mom had still be nagging him when the drug came out the the doc suggested it to him, he would have said no.

    Leave her alone...I'm sure she hates it as much as you, but its an addiction.

  • Though what the OBs are saying and what some of you have experienced is all well and good, it is still terribly difficult for me to see an obviously pregnant woman puffing cigarette after cigarette.  What we now know about smoking, pregancy, second-hand smoke, etc. should not be ignored, but I understand that quitting while pregnant (or not) is difficult.

    All I can say is, try really hard to support her in whatever decision she makes (and seems to have already made).  I know it's hard and you're worried about the baby, but I would talk to your brother, not your SIL, about HIM trying to quit or cut way down so that your SIL has an easier time quitting once the baby comes.  I just can't imagine smoking inside one's house OR one's bedroom, especially with a new baby there. Yuck!

  • Kada- really? I couldnt get past your first line. Its non of her business. I would highly pissed if someone handed me a folder of info. wrong or not.
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  • Personally, I think its disgusting, and i'm a smoker. BUT, I agree, there's not much you can do and someone who is in her 18th week and hasn't quit, probably won't. And they probably won't avoid smoking around the baby, in the car, house, etc either.

    Its pretty sad.

    image
  • image kada626:

     I would gather up as much info as your including pictures of what can happen and give it to them in a folder. Do they plan on smoking around the baby once he/she is here?? I would stress to them while smoking is bad each and every single time I saw them.



    Are you serious?  Very glad you're not my SIL.  I don't agree with what they are doing but they are adults.  They obviously know smoking is bad, what's the point of being a total drama queen about it?
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  • image vanillacourage:
    image kada626:

     I would gather up as much info as your including pictures of what can happen and give it to them in a folder. Do they plan on smoking around the baby once he/she is here?? I would stress to them while smoking is bad each and every single time I saw them.



    Are you serious?  Very glad you're not my SIL.  I don't agree with what they are doing but they are adults.  They obviously know smoking is bad, what's the point of being a total drama queen about it?

    Exactly. She's a little over the top about it. I cannot stand it when people feel they need to interfere with other people's lives. I'm sure Kada does something that someone might disagree with. 

  • image DandR:

    I'm trying to figure out how ignoring her and being short with her will help her quit????  Really?  Having family pissed off that you are addictted to smoking will help?? trust me, it doesn't.

     I wasn't really ignoring her or being short with her to be mean or prove a point, it was more that I just couldn't be near them at that moment.  I was upset and was trying not to say anything to them.

  • I appreciate the discussion on this post. 

    To answer someone's question, supposedly (according to SIL) they will not be smoking in their condo, OR, she said, they will confine it to one room, after the baby is born.  I know from living with smokers that confining it to one room never works, it will be throughout the house soon enough.  Hopefully they will keep it outside...at least in the garage or something.

  • Stay out of it. There's really nothing you can do to make someone stop smoking unless they want to do it.

    My SIL did the same thing.  Her doctor told her not to quit (cold turkey I'm sure).  He probably told her to cut back, but she didn't listen to that part.  She smoked through her entire pregnancy with both of my nieces.  Both were born about a month early and under 6 lbs.  They're both doing well now.  One is 2 years, and the other is about 5 months.  I hope at this point that they have no long term health issues because of the smoking.

    Annalise Marie 05.29.06
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