Pregnancy is a time to reevaluate all those bad habits that may be affecting your health. When you're carrying a baby, you want to make sure that your body is in tip-top shape and your little one is getting everything it needs to grow and develop. One thing that moms-to-be should really consider is avoiding smoking.
Smoking is Bad for You, Really
People shouldn't need to be reminded that smoking is bad, since the factoid has been drilled into every person's memory since around the sixth grade. But for those who need a little reminder, smokers are more likely to have lung or other cancers, heart disease, strokes, emphysema and pregnancy complications, according to Smoke Free Women, a publication of the National Cancer Institute. Smoking may also reduce couple's chances of conceiving. In addition, women who smoke during pregnancy can double their likelihood of heavy bleeding during delivery, which can be harmful for both mother and baby.
The most recent data reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that more than 10 percent of pregnant women in the U.S. smoke.
Getting the Right Information is Key
In response to this trend, the Center for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) launched the website PREGNETS (Prevention of Gestational and Neonatal Exposure to Tobacco Smoke) to provide resources to women on how to quit smoking before or during pregnancy.
"We know what negative effects exposure to nicotine can have, but we also know that smoking is one of the most difficult addictions to break," said Peter Selby, M.D., clinical director of Addiction Programs at CAMH. "Stigma around smoking during pregnancy can deter women from seeking treatment. PREGNETS offers a woman-centered approach that emphasizes support instead of guilt or shame. It was also important that we create a support tool that was accessible to women in their homes."
PREGNETS strives to provide information and support to keep moms healthy. It includes resources on dealing with nicotine cravings, bringing up your addiction with your healthcare provider and learning about the dangers of cigarettes.
Did you quit smoking before or during your pregnancy? What were your experiences with the process? Did you use any resources to help you get through withdrawals and cravings? Let us know by leaving your answers in the comments sections!