There are countless reasons to quit smoking, but for some women, the most compelling reason is the health of their unborn child. Not only is smoking hazardous to your health, but it can cause irreparable damage to your baby if you smoke while pregnant and even after you give birth. Smoking during pregnancy can increase your baby’s heart rate, increase your baby’s risk of developing respiratory problems, and increase your baby’s chances of premature birth or even miscarriage. It’s imperative that you give up smoking the moment you find out you are pregnant. Although this is easier said than done, with a little help you can quit smoking, for your sake and that of your baby.
1. Have a Positive Attitude
Fixing a habit is not easy, especially when your habit contains an addictive substance causing you to be physically dependent on it. Although this physical addiction is strong, never underestimate your mind’s ability to overpower your body. A positive attitude and strong belief that you can quit will go a long way to help you through this tough challenge. Practice visualizing yourself as a non-smoker and write down positive affirmations to keep on hand to help strengthen your convictions.
2. Tell Everyone You’re Quitting
There is strength in numbers. It’s true for so many things in life, and it’s particularly true when it comes to quitting smoking. The more people you tell that you’re quitting, the larger your support group and the stronger your sense of accountability to stick to the promise you made to yourself and those around you.
3. Find a “Replacement” Habit
If you’re used to lighting up in the car, while you read the paper or on your afternoon break, you need to find a replacement habit for each of those activities. When you get the urge to smoke in the car, find a song on the radio that you can sing along to. Instead of smoking while you read the paper, chew gum or sip on a hot beverage. If you’re used to taking a 10 minute smoke break during the day, use that time to take a lap around the office or visit with a co-worker.
4. Reward Yourself
Not only is smoking unhealthy for you and your baby, but it’s also very expensive. Save up the money you would be spending on cigarettes each day to reward yourself for reaching certain milestones. For example, after the first day you could reward yourself with an ice cream sundae, after the first week, pick out a cute outfit for the baby. After your first smoke-free month, you might have enough money saved up to pay for a massage or a nice dinner with your husband.
5. Get Rid of All Cigarettes and Paraphernalia
Just as someone who is dieting must rid their cupbords of junk food, you too must remove all cigarettes and their corresponding paraphernalia from your home, car and office. You know what they say, out of site, out of mind!
There are a lot of sacrifices you have to make when you find out you are pregnant. Although quitting smoking may feel like a sacrifice at first, think of it as a blessing. You now have a wonderful reason to quit smoking and the best motivation to get you through.