We all know smoking's bad for pregnant women and their unborn children because it poisons both mother and child's blood with carbon monoxide. Now that you're pregnant, it's just a question of how you go about quitting - if only for the pregnancy and breastfeeding phase of your life.
- Commit to quit
Destroy / remove all the cigarettes in your home. Avoid interactions with people who support your addiction. They will only serve as triggers to relapse at this point. If your partner smokes, ask them to quit with you.
- Seek support & accountability
Make yourself accountable to friends and family for your decision by letting them know you're quitting. Take advantage of online resources and therapy as needed. It's critical to form a network of friends and family who'll support your fight for health.
- Stay honest
The temptation to smoke can be strong - especially if you're stressed, angry, weak, or otherwise out of control. Every time you feel weak, reach out and let someone know you're struggling. Openly admitting your struggle exists gives you additional focus to fight the urge. Be honest: when you try to justify just "one little puff" you're actually trying to justify poisoning your child.
- Breathe instead
Whenever the urge to smoke strikes, immediately stand-up while stretching your arms out and away from your body, loosening your neck, breathe deeply and slowly until the urge subsides. Not only will breathing give your baby precious oxygen instead of poison, it will calm you and re-focus your mind. If the urge continues after calming yourself, let someone know you're struggling so they can help you fight.
- Believe in your strength
The choice to change reflects a desire to give your child the best start possible, which is rooted in your growing love and sense of personal responsibility to protect and nourish. By quitting your addiction you are meeting and succeeding at one of the fundamental challenges of motherhood: protecting and guaranteeing your child's health and well-being with your daily choices. Good work woman!