Smoking during pregnancy, help!!! — The Bump
January 2016 Moms

Smoking during pregnancy, help!!!

I am not looking for any arguments, or criticism- I need help to quit smoking. I was hopeing for tips and tricks you've used to quit, and even personal stories of negative effects smoking has had on babies. I realize it is selfish, but the more I feel guilty the more I want to smoke... I think I need a good scare. Also has anyone ever tried hypnotism? Did it work for you?

Re: Smoking during pregnancy, help!!!

  • You should contact your doctor.

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  • I agree, talk to your doctor about safe ways to quit while pregnant. My uncle did use hypnotism to quit smoking and it worked for him, but I imagine it doesn't work for everyone. Might be worth a shot though.
  • My last appointment , my obgyn wasn't in, but I mentioned it to her replacement and he said he'd refer me to someone that specializes in smoking during pregnancy and I haven't heard anything from anyone yet.
  • I stopped smoking the moment I found out I was pregnant with my son.. I picked it up after I was done breastfeeding him (at 5 months) .. He is now 3 1/2.. The day I found out I was pregnant again I threw my brand new pack (that had 1 missing from a hour before I took my test) ... I do not have an addictive personality at all, however, I do 100% understand how it can be addictive. I had a migraine for 2 weeks straight, was so moody & sick. Some people say "that was just from the pregnancy", but no .. If I would have picked up a cigarette it would have all went away. You are in control, always remember that. A close friend of mine smoked throughout her whole pregnancy.. She delivered at 41 weeks.. Her daughter was ALMOST 5 pounds. Super tiny baby. She also has to have breathing treatments because she gets sick all the time, so easily. She is now 3 (just a couple months younger than my son).. My son is 41 pounds & in the 98% of his height .. Her daughter is in the 20% of height and weight... Cutest little girl, love her to pieces .. But she is so tiny and sick a lot ... From what I've read she could be that way because her mom smoked throughout her pregnancy, idk.. But I like big chunky healthy babies for myself lol! I delivered my son at 37 weeks .. 8 pounds4 oz. 22 inches long .. BUT everyone is different! Just keep In mind all & all it is much healthier for you baby if you quit sooner rather than later, & healthier for you of course! Rooting for you!
  • I've quit a few times. Last time was just a year ago this week, happy anniversary to me, I set a deadline for myself, had my last cigarette, and quit. There were def some extra distractions, gum, lollipops, to help for a few weeks, and then I was mostly OK. I did have a light cough for about 2 months after quitting. It helped remind me of how I had actually hurt myself. Now that I'm going to be a Mom I have zero desire to ever smoke again. Good luck.
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  • Talking to a therapist who specializes in smoking cessation helped me. If it was all just about the nicotine then patches would have killed the tobacco industry decades ago. I needed ways to identify and cope with the triggers that made me want to smoke.
    Definitely contact your doctor's office again to push for treatment options. Your regular PCP would be fine also as long as they are aware that you're pregnant. I would definitely recommend assistance beyond nicotine replacement though.
  • I never smoked, but I know whenever I want to stop doing anything I have horrible willpower and need to force it upon myself...throw out everything related to the behavior (cig/lighter/etc.) in the house, have someone lock you in a room for 24 hours so you can't get out if necessary, tell everybody in your life to yell at you if they see you doing whatever the thing is, pinch yourself or yell at yourself or SOMETHING if you are in a store where they sell them, avoid going to the store for a week or two while you get over the initial hurdle if possible and make someone else shop for you. If you don't have it readily available, it is much more difficult to do it.

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  • nlwz123 said:
    My last appointment , my obgyn wasn't in, but I mentioned it to her replacement and he said he'd refer me to someone that specializes in smoking during pregnancy and I haven't heard anything from anyone yet.
    You have to be proactive then.  No one is going to do it for you.  Call them up at the office and ask for the referral.  If they aren't helpful, seek someone out on your own.  It's important.
    Besides all the risks to the baby (birth defects and stillbirth), you can also kill yourself. Smoking in pregnancy dramatically increases your risk for stroke. My next door neighbor smoked throughout her pregnancy and stroked out and died one night in her sleep. Her husband didn't realize until morning so, very sadly, the baby died inside her as well. This is not something to procrastinate or be lackadaisical about. You need to be committed to quitting today. Call your OB or PCP. Do it now.

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  • Quitting smoking is hard enough without the added hormone flux of pregnancy, but it can be done. Try supplementing exercise when you want a cigarette. It helped me years ago. When you want to smoke, go for a 10 minute walk. In that time your mind will think of other things besides smoking. If you know what your triggers are, you can create different 'distractions' for each. If you smoke after you eat, try doing the dishes immediately after so you are busy. You can do this!!!
  • I'm asthmatic, I was diagnosed at about 4. Being taken out of preschool because I wasn't breathing properly and taken to the doctor by my stepdad is one of my earliest memories. My husband quit smoking in December. He started using a vape and eventually was able to ween himself off. It's probably the third time he's quit and this is the longest he has stuck with it
  • This is my second pregnancy and with both I threw my cigarettes out and quit "cold turkey" as soon as I took a positive pregnancy test, It is hard in the beginning but after a week or two the cravings start to be less and less! It is worth the temporary discomfort to give your baby the best chance to be healthy!!!
  • 4.5 years ago I quit. I was not pregnant or thinking of pregnancy at the time but I promised myself and my hubby that I would be smoke free for our wedding. I quit "cold turkey" which was best for me. I made sure there were no more cigarettes around bc at a weak moment it is so hard to not give in. The hardest was the first week. Once I got past that, everyday became a little easier. It does suck badly at first but every time you think you want one, look at your belly or ultra sound picture and say no to the craving. Like I said before, it will eventually get easier to where you won't be thinking about it all day long.

    You can do it!!!!!!!

    Maybe even start a daily check in here on the board. I am sure there are many ladies willing to offer support for you and any other ladies out there battling the same thing!



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  • I smoked before finding out I was pregnant, had one last cigarette - once I found out (5 wks, figured what the hell, had two glasses of wine too). But, I just quit. Now I have this horrible reoccuring nightmare that I allow myself just ONE cigarette each day but every time I take a drag I can see the baby struggling to breath but I keep smoking anyways. It's really sad and scary. Smoking cigarettes is addictive in more ways than just nicotine. I get cravings for a cigarette ALL the time but I don't give in because I have stronger cravings for a healthy, beautiful, baby boy or girl. As a mother, you need to figure out how to put your wants aside for this life. That's why we are moms! To raise healthy, happy, people. If you haven't been scared into stopping now, this far along, then you should really find ANY other option. Seriously. A stillbirth or a baby who under developed lungs or any other organs is a LIFETIME of regret. This is 5 more months of wanting a ciggy. Good luck.

  • Everytime you smoke, your baby's blood vessels are constricting and they will have trouble breathing. Someone close to me was born to a mom who smoked during pregnancy and she has life long asthma, hormonal/fertility issues, and was a low birth weight. One whole side of her body is a little smaller than the other side too. You are hurting your baby. Don't make excuses. Approach it with the attitude that you MUST stop, and do it by any means necessary. Patch, gum, literally anything.

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  • I am not a smoker but saw this article of babies grimacing in the womb when mom smokes. For me personally, that would be enough to make me stop. Check it out, hope it puts it in perspective for you: 
  • holoceneholocene
    Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments 5 Answers
    edited August 2015
    You mentioned in your original post that you maybe just need a good scare. I've had personal experiences with both sides of this particular spectrum, and this topic is something I don't really dance around. 

    Perhaps you should talk to a Mom who has buried a baby after being born still. (Not from smoking - but from other, out of their control, causes.) They can look you in the eye and tell you that they would do anything to have their babies alive and healthy. They can tell you how horribly selfish you're being taking this risk, even once. Every time you put a cigarette to your mouth and raise your lighter, you're gambling your child's life. Your baby not die from your selfish habit, but it will certainly affect it's life in some way. You will not know the extent of these effects until the damage is done.

    Is your cigarette and momentary relief worth a lifetime of guilt? 

    My step sister smoked her entire pregnancy, and her daughter was born with respiratory issues, low birth weight and birth complications, amongst other things. I lost pretty much all respect for her and our relationship has struggled immensely because of it.

    My biological sister buried her son last fall after he was born still. She would probably be willing to share her story with you if you need some real life insight as to what it's like to loose a child. She won't however, be able to offer you any type of empathy, if that's what you're seeking. She will be straight forward and concise, and tell you what you already know.

    Most importantly, you are capable of quitting for your baby. 

  • I tried for years to quit but never could until pregnancy. I'm one of those moms that won't drink or eat sushi or deli meat no matter what anyone says, because I'd rather not risk anything stupid for baby's health.

    My FIL's step-daughter smoked throughout pregnancy and around her child after her birth. She was born very small, despite being full-term, and had issues with her involuntary reflexes and breathing. She got a tummy bug and choked to death on her vomit on Christmas Day at 15 months old because her reflexes weren't as good as they should have been. There are so many things that you don't realize are affected by cigarette smoke. A little stomach upset that would have passed for any other kid in a few days took her baby because of the developmental effects of cigarette smoke.

    Please stop now. It was very difficult for me, too, but it definitely needs to be done. Candy cigarettes. They're the closest thing to the same diameter and weight of a normal cigarette, and you can chew in them to help with any oral fixation. And yes, find someone to talk to/hold you accountable. Even if it's your SO giving you a good smack on the hand (DH had to guilt me every time- I'm a huge sucker for guilt so that was all I needed). Unfortunately, you'll need to identify your own triggers and such in order to really handle it, but I totally believe in you. You CAN do it!

    And lots of people make the mistake of slipping up once and giving up completely. Even if you smoke one cigarette, while you're feeling good with the nicotine in the system, throw out the rest of the pack! Maybe just the act of throwing it out will help you handle it mentally. And spending $6 or $7 every time you want ONE cigarette will help it to feel like it isn't worth it. Also, set reward markers. If you make it a day, you get your favorite dessert. If you make it a week, a manicure. Two weeks? SO takes you out to your favorite restaurant. A whole month? Girl you go to the movies, get a GIANT thing of popcorn, your favorite candy, and a massage afterward.

    These are just the things that I've tried and I've heard success with. Yes, it all comes down to you, and yes, you need to quit, but don't beat yourself up. Hating on yourself will only increase your stress levels which isn't good for baby, either, and will probably trigger you wanting to smoke, as well! You've got this, girl, you are stronger than a cigarette! :)
  • Smoking cessation therapy can be helpful, as previously mentioned. You might also want to try Zyban. It is a category C drug, and as such not proven risk free in pregnancy, but a hell of a lot less risky for baby than all the crap in cigs. I know a lot of people who were helped to quit by Zyban.
  • This may or may not be helpful, but when I found out I was pregnant with my first DD 8 years ago, I was a 2 pack a day smoker. I quite literally had to just throw them away and do it cold turkey. I struggled to wean off, etc for a month or so, and finally just DID it. Cold turkey. And decided that I would NOT do it again, no matter how desperately I wanted to. And I haven't, 8 years later. Not even one. Good luck to you, I have every confidence that you can and will do what's best for your baby! :)
  • enkbenkb
    500 Love Its 100 Comments First Answer Name Dropper
    I have found pharmacists to be good resources for advice on over the counter meds, like a lot of the smoking cessation aids are.  It's something proactive you can do TODAY without needing an appointment or anything, just go to your local pharmacy and ask for advice.  Sometimes face to face with a medical professional it can be easier to understand things.  If you are in a place that has several pharmacies, don't be afraid to go to more than one, you may get different tips based on their personal experience.
  • It was hard for me to quit at first too. I switched to a completely different and lighter brand of cigarettes and cut down the amount I smoked maybe 3 a day. I cute those down more through the week and then bought a brand I had never tried. I hated them so much I didn't even want another cigarette so I threw that away and have been done since. I think the weaning off really helped me.
  • Have you bothered to use Google yet? There are so many reputable sources that can help.

    I quit smoking when I found out I was pregnant. To me.. The chance of hurting this precious life I am growing isn't worth it. I mean come on it can cause SIDS. That's not worth it.
  • I was going to post this earlier today since I have the same problem quitting. It's always in my mind " what's one more?" It's harder than I thought it would be. I thought I would be able to quit the second I found out. But thanks for posting this
  • You're harming not only yourself anymore, but now the precious life that's inside of you. What more of a scare do you need?
  • As PPs have said, talk to your doctor.

    SO's cousin (our former neighbor) smoked through both of her pregnancies.  Her dd (now 4) was born at 38wks weighing 3.5lbs, she has the verbal skills of a 2yr old, and is all around behind.  I remember the picture her bf got of her placenta.  It was BLACK and looked like it had scabs or something.  Her ds (7 months) was just over 3lbs at 39wks, was in the NICU for 4wks due to breathing issues, has been consistently behind in development, and has hospitalized with pneumonia 3 times. 

    I hope you are able to get the help and strength you need to quit.

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  • The CDC has a program, call 1-800- QUIT NOW
  • I read the saddest post on Facebook and t his post immediately came to mind. A friend of mine that I grew up with announced that she was pregnant in Marxh, had her gender reveal shortly after and is an extremely healthy person. I hadn't seen any posts about the progress of her pregnancy and then this morning the first post that I read on my FB thread was written by her. She lost her baby at 25 weeks and 6 days and it wasn't because she did anything to compromise the health of her growing baby. Her baby was already 2 pounds and 14 inches long... Obviously she is devastated. And so the next time anyone has the urge for a cigarette or whatever other compromising vices that you may have, please think of this and do what's right for your little one and also for yourself.
  • Hey I used to smoke occasionally.. But quit the moment we decided to conceive and haven't found it hard luckily..
    Earlier when I had tried to quit it helped to develop some other habits that will keep your mind off like chewing gum or in my case - playing candy crush saga all day like a crazy bitch !!!
  • I agree with everything the ladies here have said. I also wanted to say that its brave of you to be vulnarable and bring this up here. It seems like you are ready to take this difficult step. Hope you can harness all this support and take this very important step NOW.

    But shouldn't this brave & difficult step have been taken months ago. And to me it sounds like she's more concerned about what stopping smoking will do more than what the effects of smoking has already caused on the baby. We all have habits & things we enjoyed doing before knowing we were pregnant & I don't see being a smoker as an excuse to continue a habit which is proven to cause birth defects to an innocent child who didn't ask to be brought into this world.
  • I was looking for birth preparation classes at my hospital and noticed they had smoking cessation classes one could sign up for. You should search ALL your local hospitals to see if they have similar classes or groups therapy sessions.
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