Quitting smoking while pregnant is a necessity. Studies have shown that some babies born to mothers who smoked during pregnancy experience stunted growth and developmental delays. Not all babies born to mothers who smoke will experience these effects, but is it really worth it to take the chance?
It was once believed that quitting smoking while pregnant put stress on the baby who was also used to the nicotine present in cigarettes. This is no longer considered true and cannot be used as a crutch for women who do not want to quit smoking while pregnant. Instead, it is believed that a woman should quit smoking by week fourteen of her pregnancy to avoid the potential complications that smoking during pregnancy can render.
Some women are able to quit smoking cold turkey the minute they find out they are pregnant. Quitting cold turkey, stopping smoking all at once, is difficult to do but there is the added incentive of keeping your baby healthy. This is considered the safest way to quit smoking during pregnancy for both mother and baby.
Other women find it is not as easy and heavy smokers especially go through withdrawal. Nicotine withdrawal along with the first trimester side effects a woman may experience might just be too much for the woman to handle. In this case, it is best to cut down on cigarettes gradually. It is important to let go of those final few cigarettes before the fourteenth week of pregnancy however.
If you need help with the withdrawal symptoms, there are options such as gum, sprays, and the patch. These deliver nicotine into the system without the other harmful ingredients in cigarettes. These should not be used throughout the pregnancy, but just long enough for the mother to get through her nicotine withdrawal. This is not the safest option, but it is better than submitting the fetus to the harmful ingredients in cigarettes.
Bupropion, also known as Wellbutrin, is a drug that has been known to help people, including pregnant women, quit smoking. There are no definitive studies on what this drugs effects are on an unborn child, but it is still considered to be better than smoking throughout pregnancy.
Finally, there are options such as hypnosis, therapy, and acupuncture. Some people swear that these have helped them to quit smoking and it should be no different for a pregnant woman.
Ultimately, it is up to each woman to find what works for her. But quitting smoking while pregnant is a necessity.