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Be Smoke-Free During Pregnancy

You’ve quit smoking because you’re pregnant. At first, not smoking may be new and exciting. It’s the best sort of change. People will congratulate you. You have a right to be proud, so enjoy it. But then what? How do you stay smoke-free when life goes back to normal? Plan ahead to fight temptation. Be aware of signs that warn of a slip.

Make your success stronger

Get busy and build on your early success. List the benefits of staying smoke-free. Your list, like your life, will change. You’re finding out who you are as a nonsmoker. Remember how smoking can affect your baby. Then ask yourself, “Which is more important—smoking, or my baby?”

Have a smoke-free home

After you quit, you still need to think about avoiding secondhand smoke. Help yourself succeed by making your home smoke-free:

  • Ask your spouse, partner, or roommate to smoke outside.

  • Tell your friends and family you’ve quit. Let them know your home is now smoke-free and you’d like them to honor your decision.

  • Also tell them that you appreciate their help. Because they keep smoke out of your home, your baby stays healthy and you stay smoke-free.

Prepare to be tempted

You will be tempted. Tough times are still ahead. Get ready to resist your urge to smoke. You know the triggers: car trips, holidays, and seeing friends who still smoke. The tips below can help you resist:

  • Talk to your baby.

  • Make your home a “smoke-free zone.”

  • Make a list of all you can smell, taste, and do better since you quit smoking.

  • Pack a survival kit to take in the car.

  • When you eat out, go to smoke-free restaurants.

Heed warning signs

Ever daydream about smoking, or go to risky places, like lunch with a group of smokers? These could be warning signs that you’re headed for a slip. If you feel tempted to smoke, ask yourself when and why you feel this way.

HALT your desire!

Keep yourself from feeling too Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired:

  • Hungry? Fix yourself a healthy snack.

  • Angry? Try some slow, deep breathing.

  • Lonely? Visit a nonsmoking friend.

  • Tired? Kick off your shoes, take a nap.

If you slip

If you do slip, it doesn’t mean you’re not quitting. Whether you sneak a smoke or boldly inhale, tell yourself you’re no longer a smoker. A slip is not a relapse. Don’t let all your hard work so far be lost. Find out why you lit up. Then make a new plan to help yourself be stronger.

Find out why you slipped

A slip can be useful. If you’re honest, the slip might tell you something. Do your best to answer these questions:

  • How did the cigarette taste?

  • How did your hands smell after you smoked?

  • What did you learn about being tempted?

  • Have you found a new trigger?

  • What can you do to avoid slips in the future?

For more information

Here are some resources to help you stay smoke-free:

Online Medical Reviewer: Donna Freeborn PhD CNM FNP
Online Medical Reviewer: Heather Trevino
Online Medical Reviewer: Irina Burd MD PhD
Date Last Reviewed: 7/1/2021
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