Healthsheet

Stay Smoke-Free After Pregnancy

Stay Smoke-Free After Pregnancy

The benefits of not smoking will last your whole life. But changes related to the birth may trigger an old urge to smoke. So use the excitement of a new baby to stay smoke-free. Think of your newborn’s first cry, that new-baby scent. Make a new plan. Use all of your new skills to get through these busy months.

Man and pregnant woman in car. Woman is offering man stick of gum.
"Honey, the smoke is bad for the baby. How about some gum instead?"

Have a Smoke-free Home

After you quit, you still need to think about 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.

The Benefits Last a Lifetime

You quit smoking so you’d have a healthier baby. Now stay smoke-free, so you’ll be a better role model. By not smoking, you’ll also gain some big benefits:

  • Healthier breast milk

  • Less chance of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)

  • Fewer coughs and colds for you and your child

  • Less risk of your child having allergies, asthma, or other lung problems

  • Less chance that your child will smoke

  • A greater chance of having a long and healthy life to spend together

Having Problems Staying Quit?

What if you can’t quit all the way or you start smoking again? Many people quit more than once before stopping for good. Success is a building process. You can improve with practice. Work through this booklet again. Also, talk with your healthcare provider about joining a support group or seeing a counselor. And remember: Every cigarette not smoked benefits baby and you.

Make a New Plan

You’re likely to have a few crazy months ahead, taking care of a newborn and maybe running a house or going back to work. Plan ways to take care of yourself, so you won’t be tempted to smoke.

  • Get some exercise. Keep practicing deep-breathing exercises.

  • Review your list of triggers. Add any new ones that may show up.

  • Remember how to let go of stress without smoking. Relax, take mental breaks, and try to lighten your outlook.

  • Rest when the baby sleeps, and know when to say no to visitors. Set limits. It’s okay to protect your new family.

  • Avoid secondhand smoke—smoke from those around you. It’s dangerous for your baby and your health. And it makes it harder to not smoke.


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