Thursday, August 22, 2013

Pregnancy & Quitting Smoking Support

Smoking during pregnancy can cause serious harm to the fetus.

According to the March of Dimes, it is estimated that at least 10 percent of women smoke during their pregnancies. Smoking cigarettes can have negative health effects on an unborn fetus, as well as increase the risk of complications during pregnancy.

Potential Fetal Effects

Women who smoke throughout their pregnancy are at increased risk for preterm labor and low birth weight babies. They also have a higher risk of having a baby born with serious birth defects, such as cerebral palsy, mental retardation or learning problems.

1-800-QUIT NOW

Available by the U.S. government at no cost, 1-800-QUIT NOW offers support by phone 24 hours per day, seven days per week to pregnant women interested in quitting smoking. Each caller is assigned to a Quit Coach who creates a custom quitting plan after an in-depth individual consultation. Ongoing support is available anytime by phone.

Online Support provides free online support for smokers who are trying to quit. Their Quit Guide outlines preparations for stopping smoking, a plan to follow and advice about handle slip ups and cravings. Live support is also available through instant messaging.

Doctor Recommended Support

Support groups for smokers can teach problem-solving techniques and coping strategies. A health care professional can recommend pregnancy-specific smoking cessation programs in your area.

Coping with Withdrawal

Pregnant women may need additional support when dealing with nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Avoiding caffeine and exercising can help with sleeplessness and irritability. Eating healthy foods frequently, such as popcorn, nuts or fruit, can reduce hunger while also keeping the mouth and hands occupied.

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