It’s been reported that 13 per cent of Irish women smoke during pregnancy, a number that’s going down every year. There are still a few people who find it difficult to quit, but your baby’s health is so important, and pregnancy can be the push you need to finally give up the fags for good!
Here are some tips to keep in mind if you’re trying to give up smoking when pregnant.
Set the date
Make a clear date in your calendar for your last cigarette. Make sure you’re ready for that date, with any helpful extras (gum, patches, hypnotherapy podcast) you need to quit available in the house, your handbag, the car, etc, anywhere a craving might strike.
Cut back slowly
If you’re planning to have a baby and are trying to give up smoking at the same time, cut back slowly. Schedule smoking times for two weeks leading up to your ‘Quit’ date, being sure to lessen your smoking each day leading up to it.
Find a rock
Find someone you can count on to be your ‘rock’ for your journey. Someone who you can call every time a craving starts who can help talk you through it. A good support system will help it feel like less of a burden.
Don’t feel like you need to go cold turkey. See you doctor and ask for help – the likelihood is that you are not the first mum-to-be to try to quit! Look into hypnotherapy or other addiction centres for step by step plans. Or use a patch or nicotine gum to help stem off the cravings.
When a craving strikes, make sure there are plenty of reminders around the house that tell you what smoking could do to your baby. Write them up on coloured paper with inspirational quotes to steel your resolve.
Remember that it gets easier everyday!
If you can keep off them for a few weeks, the cravings and withdrawal symptoms will lessen. Just remember that if you start up again you’re back to square one!
When you’ve reached a milestone in your journey to quit, put the money you’ve saved from buying ciggies into something you love, like a pregnancy massage or a little trip away for you and your bump to reward yourselves for all you hard work.