Smoking: a Must to Kick Off before Pregnancy


Smoking: a Must to Kick Off before PregnancyCigarette smoking among drug dependent pregnant women is alarmingly high, estimated at 77 to 99%. Smoking during pregnancy can cause complications during delivery such as premature rupture of membranes, abruptio placentae, placenta previa, premature birth, low-birth-weight, stillbirth and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). About 20% of low-birth-weight births, 8% of preterm deliveries, and 5% of all delivery deaths are linked to smoking during pregnancy. It is important to stop smoking prior to pregnancy in order to help give your baby the best chance of survival.

 

If you quit smoking before you become pregnant (or during the first 3 months of your pregnancy), your risk of having a baby with low birth weight is the same as that of a woman who does not smoke.  






 

  • Get working on a smoke-free home: The presence of other smoker(s) in your home can be a constant reminder and the sheer smell might make things difficult for you. Request them to smoke, if they really have to in your absence or outside the house.

  • Begin with small Baby Steps: Who says you have to quit smoking overnight?  Jump start by eliminating the morning cigarette and then the one after meals. Soon there will be more time in the day and less time spent smoking.  A slip is okay. If you find yourself some day smoking a cigarette first thing in the morning, do not take it as a failure. Get right back on the track by eliminating the cigarette for the evening. Count every day as a milestone.

  • Try looking  for better options: Enroll in an online smoking cessation program (they can walk you through quitting, and they're free). Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) can make you twice as likely to succeed. As well as patches, there are tiny tablets, lozenges, gum and a nasal spray. If you like holding a cigarette, use an inhalator.

  • Exercise every day: Studies have reported that smokers have lower cravings for cigarettes after exercise compared with when they had been inactive. Moderate exercise can be a viable alternative to many of the pharmaceutical products, such as nicotine patches, for women who want to give up smoking. A ten or fifteen minute walk, jog or cycle when times get tough could help a smoker kick the habit. Also, exercise will release endorphins in the body that will make you feel naturally high and alert (an improved mood, sort off). There are many ways for you to experience a totally natural high. If you want to experience a high without using drugs or drinking coffee, just exercise.

  • Keep a journal: Record your thoughts about smoking, and start analyzing what you're thinking when the craving pushes off. Figure out some new beliefs that you can start feeding yourself about smoking that might help in better handling of the habit. Collect your thoughts and use them as inspiration.  Decide and write why you want to quit. Visualize the increase in your Energy so you can put in working towards your life purpose, and contribute more to life.

  • Smoking: a Must to Kick Off before PregnancyModify your Diet:  An  American study has revealed that some foods, including meat, make cigarettes more satisfying. Others, including milk, cheese, fruit and vegetables, make cigarettes taste terrible. So swap your usual steak or burger for a veggie pizza instead. According to results of a new study, cigarette smokers who ate fruits and vegetables an average of 4 or more times per day were 3 times more likely to be tobacco free 14 months later, compared with those who ate fruits and vegetables fewer than 2 times per day. If you are experiencing a cigarette craving, eating increased amounts of fruits, vegetables or drinking a glass of milk may be potential ways to curb your urge to smoke. Fizzy drinks, alcohol, cola, tea and coffee all make cigarettes taste better. So when you’re out, drink more water and juice.

  • Ask friends or family to join you in quitting smoke: If your friends or family members want to give up, suggest to them to join you in the quest. Take help of a Smoking Helpline, available in your city. When you’re at a party, stick with the non-smokers.

  • Change your Routine. Avoid those things that make you reach for a cigarette. Think about how you can change your routine to help manage the times and places that trigger the urge to smoke. When you get up in the morning (and after meals), immediately brush your teeth or get physically active. While driving to work consider car pooling, listening to a different radio station, and taking a different route if possible. On breaks at work; read a book, walk around the building, or call a friend. The point is to stop smoking by changing your routine. By making things different you can help manage the cravings and triggers that make you want to smoke plus you are trying new things and that is always a plus.

  • Take folic acid supplements prior conception, which studies show can protect your baby from some serious birth defects, including spina bifida, a life-threatening spinal malformation. nearly all multivitamins contain at least 400 mcg per dose, the minimal amount needed for a healthy pregnancy

  • Keep trying. If you have tried over and over again to quit smoking, there is no reason to stop trying. Get counseling or join a support group for people who smoke. Find an Internet chat room for 24-hour support.

 

 Before pregnancy, you can use almost any approach to kick the habit, including behavioral methods, nicotine replacement products (gum, patches and inhalers), antidepressants and smoking cessation drugs. But during pregnancy, some of the medications may not be safe. These agents may pass through the placenta to reach your baby.

Set a date to quit and stick to it.

 

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Dated 26 June 2012
 

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