Quitting smoking as soon as possible once you know you are pregnant can reduce the negative effects it has on both you and your baby. In fact, pregnant women who are able to stop smoking in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy significantly reduce the associated health risks on the baby.
Table of Contents
- Smoking during Pregnancy and Your Baby’s Health
- Alternatives to Help you Quit
Smoking during Pregnancy and Your Baby’s Health
A huge quantity of scientifically proven studies based on clinical research outline the damaging and potentially life-threatening effects of cigarette smoke during pregnancy. Smoking has been pinpointed as one of the leading avoidable behaviours that are most damaging to a developing baby.
Health Problems for the Baby during and after Pregnancy
Tobacco smoke contains a horde of poisonous chemicals and dangerous compounds, which if a woman consumes during pregnancy, so does the unborn baby. Smoking during pregnancy can limit the amount of oxygen that is being transmitted to the developing baby.
Exposure to carbon monoxide specifically can negatively affect the supply of crucial nutrients that your baby needs to grow in a healthy way. Restricting this supply of nutrients can lead to severe issues relating to the baby’s health which can affect the development of their internal organs, especially their brain and lungs.
Risk Factors of Smoking and your Child
In the final stages of pregnancy and birth, smoking cigarettes has been associated with misscarrage, infant death on delivery, stillbirths, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and doubles the chance of babies being born with a low birth weight.
Furthermore, being subjected to secondhand smoke during pregnancy, or once the baby has been born, can reduce the development and function of their lungs. Children who suffer from asthma are also twice as likely to have to be hospitalised as a result of exposure to secondhand smoke.
Alternatives to Help you Quit
Quitting at any point can be extremely difficult, and pregnant women need all the support they can get. Quitting cold turkey has not shown to negatively affect your baby, and studies show a higher success rate of pregnant women. However, cravings and withdrawal may build a false belief that you are unable to quit.
Don’t give up trying on giving up. Concentrate on the benefits it will have for you and your baby. Many women have gone through this experience before you and have been successful. You need to call on your determination, mindset, persistence and social support through the worst of it to help you with this difficult task. There are many options currently available, which can make this frustrating mission much easier to achieve.
Using Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRP) during Pregnancy
There is evidence to suggest that nicotine replacement therapy has been highly effective when trying to reduce cravings associated with nicotine withdrawal. However, the use of NRPs during pregnancy has been scientifically linked to low birth weight and an increased risk in babies being born prematurely when trying to quit smoking.
It would be best to talk to your family doctor if you are considering the use of NRP to quit during pregnancy. You can also call on your health service provider who can offer you tips and advice to help support you in striving to be smoke-free.
Using Medication to Quit
Many pregnant women have searched all types of possible ways to create a smoke-free environment for their babies, to avoid the associated health problems.
There are a huge range of medications on the market which claim to help you when quitting smoking, such as bupropion and varenicline. However, other methods which do not use medications for quitting have been suggested as the best option for pregnant women.
Once again, it is highly recommended that you talk with your family doctor for advice if you intend to use any form of medications to try and quit. They can suggest healthy options that are best for you, and can offer support while quitting smoking.
Using E Cigarettes during Pregnancy
Plenty of pregnant women have turned to smoking e cigarettes as they think it may be a healthier alternative to the traditional smoke. However, the health concerns connected to this as a nicotine replacement have not been fully explored.
An academic review published in 2018 shared that the percentage of nicotine consumption in this alternative during pregnancy, still had a negative impact on the lung, heart, and brain development of a fetus.
Hypnosis and Quitting Smoking while Pregnant
A 2020 Cochrane review outlined that the safety and effectiveness of NRP and medications for quitting smoking during pregnancy were unconfirmed, and further research is needed.
After an extensive literature search, there is currently no scientific evidence to suggest that there are any health risks associated with using hypnotherapy or meditation to quit smoking. In fact, this search showed that there are numerous studies that demonstrate the benefits. One such study published in 2020 noted that undergoing hypnosis sessions proved to reduce nicotine cravings in smokers who wanted to quit using tobacco, but they struggled with the willpower to do so. Another study noted that hypnotherapy was even more effective than NRP.
How an App can Help you Quit Smoking
Using Quit, an app that makes use of a custom made menu, you can gain the upper hand when you are craving a cigarette. One of the best aspects about using hypnosis to stop smoking is it can be used safely in your own home, risk free. Or anywhere you can find a space to listen to the calming voice of a certified hypnotherapist.
It includes a useful tracker, which can tell you how many cigarettes you have managed to avoid smoking. Not to mention, it also lets you know how much money you have saved as a result of not smoking. With this app, you can start thinking about how you can financially improve your baby’s future, and your own health.