When you are pregnant, the things you do affect your unborn child. Smoking – or even being around other people who smoke – exposes your baby to harmful chemicals that can have a lifelong impact. No matter how far along you are in your pregnancy, your baby will be healthier if you quit.
For your baby:
- Increases the amount of oxygen your baby will get
- Increases the chances your baby's lungs will work well
- Lowers the risk that your baby will be born too early
- Increases your chances of having a normal-weight, healthy baby
- Increases the chances your baby will come home from the hospital with you
- Gives you more energy and helps you breathe easier
- Save money to buy more things for your baby - and yourself
- Lets you feel good about what you've done for yourself and your baby
10-Call Protocol for Pregnant Women
A tailored quitline intervention for pregnant women includes up to 10 calls with relapse prevention sensitivity. The first 5-6 calls are completed within 60 to 90 days of enrollment, and one call is made 30 days prior to the woman’s planned due date. In addition, two postpartum contacts are made (15 days and 45 days postpartum, emphasizing the importance of remaining quit beyond delivery). The program takes a woman-centered approach, balancing the benefits of quitting for both the fetus and the woman, in addition to incorporating an element to enlist optimal support for the woman and to encourage smoking partners to quit as well.
Facts about Quitting During Pregnancy:
- Many pregnant women are tempted to cut down the number of cigarettes they smoke instead of quitting. Cutting down to less than 5 cigarettes a day can reduce risk, but quitting is the best thing you can do for you and your baby.
- It's never too late to quit smoking during your pregnancy.
- After just one day of not smoking, your baby will get more oxygen. Each day that you don’t smoke, you are helping your baby grow.
- During the first few weeks after quitting, cravings and withdrawal symptoms may be strongest. You can reduce the length of each craving for a cigarette by distracting yourself (keep your hands, mouth, and mind busy).
- Withdrawal symptoms are often signs that your body is healing. They are normal, temporary, and will lessen in a couple of weeks.
- Weight gain during pregnancy is normal. If you are worried about gaining weight when you quit smoking, now is an ideal time to quit. The weight you gain is far less harmful than the risk you take by smoking.