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:
- National Cancer Institute Smoking Quitline: 877-44U-QUIT (877-448-7848)