Getting Ready to Quit
Every woman has her own reasons for smoking. Every woman can find her own way of quitting and staying smoke-free— in her own time.
Women often feel intense pressure to stop smoking when they become pregnant. This pressure comes from partners, family members, the media, etc. Pregnant women who are unable to reduce or stop smoking often feel guilty and ashamed about their smoking.
Remember, it’s your decision to smoke, reduce, or quit. There are lots of paths to quitting smoking—you can find yours in your own time. In the meantime, here are some ideas on what to do until you’re ready to take that first step.
Ways to reduce the harmful effects of smoking:
- Get into the habit of smoking outside. Then, when the baby comes home, you’ll be used to smoking outdoors, not inside.
- Talk with your doctor about using nicotine replacement therapy.
- Try smoking only part of each cigarette—such as three-quarters of it— instead of the whole cigarette.
- Work towards reducing or quitting smoking in the last three months of your pregnancy.
What to say if people tell you that you shouldn’t be smoking because you are pregnant:
You can remind them that there are many things you do for your health in general and for a healthy pregnancy in particular. Some of the healthy things that women do because they are pregnant include:
- getting enough rest
- eating regularly
- learning how to better deal with stress
- going for regular health check-ups
- beginning to prepare the home for baby
- staying emotionally healthy
Adapted from Bottorff, J. L., Carey, J., Poole, N., Greaves, L., & Urquhart, C. (2008). Couples and smoking: What you need to know when you are pregnant. Vancouver, BC: Jointly published by the British Columbia Centre of Excellence for Women's Health, the Institute for Health Living and Chronic Disease Prevention, University of British Columbia Okanagan, and NEXUS, University of British Columbia Vancouver. ISBN 978-1-894356-61-9