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bad habits

(31 Posts)
happy1 Tue 19-Aug-03 16:18:53

hi am 9 1/2 weeks pg (due in march) and am finding it really hard to stop smoking. has anyone else had a problem, or can anyone give me any tips or advice? really desperate!!

Jess234 Tue 19-Aug-03 17:44:20

Hi Happy,

I know how you’re feeling, although my due date is next Monday I did smoke and I won’t lie, I found it very difficult to stop. I stopped around three and half months, although I cut down to about two a day before that. I found it easier to cut down as much as possible and then stop all together. If possible try to keep away from other smokers, a lot of my friends, family and work colleagues smoke, which didn’t help. I was also very tempted in social places, like the pub, so I did try to avoid that in the end. Also try not to listen to other non-smokers who judge you, anybody who has given up will say how difficult it is. I wouldn’t have been able to give up if I wasn’t pregnant. I know that the NHS do a help line that is meant to be very helpful, I never used it.

Anyway hope that helps and good luck

happy1 Wed 20-Aug-03 09:22:38

cheers jess, its good to know i'm not the only one who finds it hard. at the moment I feel like smoking even more as i'm getting grief from my midwife, and my BIL is like 'should you be doing that?' all the time I see him. But I've got a really supportive partner who not only has cut down with me but has started smoking outside! Hope all goes well with the birth jess, hope you don't go overdue

Grommit Wed 20-Aug-03 09:27:24

Happy1 - don't know if this will help you but when I became pg with dd I gave up smoking immediately - I just kept thinking of the baby and the smoke going into it's lungs. When it is just you it is impossible to give up but when it affects your child it gives you a good reason- I am not preaching as I know how hard it is but as I said in another thread about this most of us would lay our life down for our children...

mergle Wed 20-Aug-03 12:33:15

I smoked from when I was about 14, 20-30 a day, but I gave up a couple of years before I got pregnant. I've been wanting to smoke quite a few times though which is odd because I'd never felt the need to smoke after about 3 months from giving up. Pregnancy is a really stressful time and everyone is on at you all the time not to do this or that, eat a crate of greens a day, avoid chocolate-everything you do apart from playing Mozart is meant to harm the baby in some subtle way. Due yesterday and right now I'm feeling guilty that I had to have a mercury filling removed (while my b***d of a dentist was shouting-literally-at me for not getting it sorted 7 months ago). And I don't generally worry about things. I'm not saying smoking is good for the baby, just that pregnancy is a really stressful time-probably one of the worst times in your life to give up, and it doesn't help that you're seen as a bad person if you do anything at all that might hurt the baby. You're doing something really hard, and you need support and praise for what you have managed already. I'm sure you know all the statistics about SIDs and miscarriage and asthma etc etc etc. Make sure people don't just take it for granted that its easy for you because you're pregnant-as I said, I think its harder. Is your midwife actually giving you any support to give up? How about nicotine patches or inhalers?

I'm sure you know everything about increased risk of miscarriage, SIDS, low birth weight, etc. I think I've read that cutting down to less than 10 a day really does make a huge difference. And at the end of the day, most babies born to smokers do survive.

I went cold turkey because I moved in with someone who made it clear that they wouldn't tolerate me smoking near them or smelling with smoke-ie, smoke and the relationship is over (I don't think it would have been in retrospect but I didn't want to risk it). BUT at one point when I was cutting down I found a nicorette inhaler helpful, although it looks bloody stupid. Anyway, good luck!

mergle Wed 20-Aug-03 12:39:54

I also think that its a lot harder to see a 10 week old fetus as a child for which you would sacrifice your life-it has been getting more and more clear to me that I would do anything for my child, but I think it will be a lot clearer after he is born (assuming he does work out how to get himself out of there), and I think at 10 weeks before he'd even started kicking or anything, I had more of a concept of it being good to avoid bad foods and alchol, whereas now I would avoid them because he is a person to me. I still don't believe I could be a mother this time tommorrow though. So this may be partly why you're finding it hard.

oliveoil Wed 20-Aug-03 13:30:40

There is a thread on this somewhere that got v heated, called something like 'my pregnant colleague is smoking' or something. Maybe someone tech minded could link?

I gave up when I found out I was pregnant, hard for a few weeks but not impossible. Not smoked since either so it can be done. Must go as my halo needs a polish.

Jess234 Wed 20-Aug-03 16:24:53

Thanks Happy,

I hope I don’t go over due either, very inpatient.

Anyway good luck with giving up, it’s good that you have a supportive partner.

Mergle, agree with what your saying and good advice, wish I had heard some of that when I was giving up smoking.

Anyway take care all.

happy1 Fri 22-Aug-03 14:37:34

thanks everyone for your advice and definitely thanks for not lecturing. I feel a whole lot better about giving up, today I've been really good so fingers crossed I can stay good and quit. I do really want to. At the moment though I don't even feel particularly pregnant, so that makes it a bit harder. I shall keep thinking of smoke going into baby's lungs each time I want one, like Grommit said, thats a really good idea

Rachael17 Sun 24-Aug-03 01:42:42

heya happy1 hope ur doing ok
i smoked for the 1st two months (didnt know till then) and it took me about two weeks to quit
a freind of mine sed to me that everytime i take a drag on a ciggy to think of a tiny newborn with a fag in its mouth coughing away the nasty image soon detered me
it is really difficult tho i still get cravings for a fag now and im 6months pg
hope thats helpful jus keep thinking of the baby and u shud be ok
at least u've got a valid reason to quit properly

Rachael17 Sun 24-Aug-03 01:44:28

p.s i know wat u mean about not feeling pg dont worry tho the 1st scan and wen u feel the little one move it suddenly sinks in a bit more
but i still have days where i think im not and im just gettin fat lol

StripyMouse Sun 24-Aug-03 09:36:17

happy1 - how are you getting on? when I gave up I was one of the lucky ones and found it really easy. Unfortunately when DH gave up he found it really really hard work and took a few months - but we both got there and have never returned to it (fingers crossed). The strange thing is that I have not much will power and yet my DH has bags of the stuff and was so determined. I think it proved to me that it is not just about "strength of character and determination" as a lot of people would have us all believe. Ok, having a strong will does play a part but different people seem to have different levels of addiction regardless of length of time or quantity smoked. If you find it really hard and/or have the occasional lapse - don’t beat yourself up about it, just promise yourself to get up and try again for your health as well as the baby’s.
We did the old classic of having a jar in the kitchen with a picture of a new sofa on the front and religiously put our weekly "fag money" in it - it helped us.

We also set ourselves mini targets to keep each other going like if we both managed the entire weekend then we would treat ourselves to a takeway on the Monday etc. etc. - not wanting to let each other down and a certain amount of healthy competition all makes it feel easier.

The cravings are hard as are the trigger times - like that one with morning coffee - but I just tried to avoid those times altogether and/or change the routine - like going out for morning coffee to a new coffee shop that was all non smoking and had a cake instead!! I found eating out and drinking out (pubs etc.) hard - so we tended to eat in and follow up with a movie at the end of the meal to avoid the sitting around thinking about the banned after dinner smoke. Things like BBQs with friends with a few beers rather than sitting in a smoky pub also worked well and stopped me feeling like a social outcast avoiding all my usual haunts.

Oh, and I kept a huge fruit bowl on the go to combat cravings....tried to avoid the chocolate trap (much too addicted to let that one get out of control any further ) as it is so easy to put on weight when giving up.

Jenie Sun 24-Aug-03 10:26:55

happy1 I did smoke whilst pregnant with dd but found it easier to give up after my midwife told me that tests have been carried out and when you inhail the smoke your baby wriggles and squirms about because it isn't getting enough oxygen at that moment.

I want to wish you luck and do understand that it's not easy. I think the setting of attainable goals is also a great idea.

Good luck.

spikeycat Tue 26-Aug-03 10:27:15

The way I am managing to give up is by knowing what a healthy placenta looks like as opposed to one where the mother has smoked, it really is disgusting. A healthy one is nice and pink looking and a smokers one, well, its practically black with revolting dark veins running through it. Your midwife who delivers you WILL know, even if you say you only have one or two.
I smoked a very small amount with ds1, and when he was born he went to SCBU, even though it wasn't anything to do with what I had done (maybe?) I still felt very much to blame and thought about every cig I smoked and every "small" glass of wine I had consumed.

Hope this helps...

Grommit Tue 26-Aug-03 10:39:48

Happy1 - how are you doing?

wiltshire Tue 26-Aug-03 18:22:04

I have smoked all the way through my pg. Tried to give up at first and got down to 10 a day, but having lost a baby before found I couldn't. I tried all of the thinking about giving a newborn smoke and it didn't work for me. I am not proud of myself but I am still smoking at 8 months.

wiltshire Tue 26-Aug-03 18:23:09

Sorry, should have added that the reasoning behind my smoking is that pregnancy as a whole, has been the most stressful, unenjoyable thing I have ever encountered in 34 years.

wiltshire Tue 26-Aug-03 18:23:17

Sorry, should have added that the reasoning behind my smoking is that pregnancy as a whole, has been the most stressful, unenjoyable thing I have ever encountered in 34 years.

wiltshire Tue 26-Aug-03 18:23:30

Sorry, should have added that the reasoning behind my smoking is that pregnancy as a whole, has been the most stressful, unenjoyable thing I have ever encountered in 34 years.

wiltshire Tue 26-Aug-03 18:24:05

Sorry, should have added that the reasoning behind my smoking is that pregnancy as a whole, has been the most stressful, unenjoyable thing I have ever encountered in 34 years.

aloha Tue 26-Aug-03 19:03:18

Why is pregnancy stressful? I didn't find it so and I had a life-threatening condition. I have never smoked which is a huge advantage because you don't have to give up ever, but I just don't get this idea that pregnancy is so stressful that you *have* to smoke. It's true that foetuses suffer oxygen starvation while you smoke. There is a big difference between a couple a day and 20 a day though, so if you feel that giving up is impossible for you then even cutting down will make a potential lifelong difference to your child's health. I am not sure about the use of nicotine patches while pregnant but they cannot be as harmful as smoking. Why not call NHS direct and ask for the number of their Stop Smoking helpline. Maybe they will have some good ideas.

Lisa78 Tue 26-Aug-03 20:27:59

Happy1 - you have all my sympathy and support, its horrendous trying to stop smoking, absolutely horrendous! I am 6.5 months pg and only now do I feel like I have actually achieved it - and this must be my 10th attempt ever. Its taken my 4 goes since I found out I was pregnant in March to get this far (infact one attempt lasted about 20 minutes!!!)
Somethings that WILL help, I promise
The NHS have a quitline for pregnant women; they help but they can also put you in touch with a local counsellor. They run groups for pregnant women trying to give up - I'm not a group person but she came round to see me and called a lot, well out of office hours. She even came round when my husband rang her cos I was sat crying hysterically on the kitchen floor!!!
Allen Carrs book on quitting the easy way - available at WHS - is helpful, it certainly gets you in the right frame of mind
Nicotine replacement is largely untested in pregnancy but you can have up to 4 lozenges or microtabs which may help (my only successful attempt was with nothing, these made it harder) but not the chewing gum or patches

Think positive! Don't think of it as giving up smoking but as escaping from a poison that has you addicted.

Think about yourself - its not necessarily helpful to think about it in terms of the baby's health or the money you'll save. I thought about it in terms of an addiction like heroin is an addiction, and people don't manage to get off that thinking about money or the baby. Think that you want to do it for you, to escape, to be free

Remind yourself that when you are bored / stressed / need to concentrate / need to relax that a cigarette doesn't help any of these things - you just think it will. What is more boring than smoking a cigarette? Is it entertaining?! Nicotine stresses you out, it doesn't relax you! And it doesn't help you concentrate cos its taking oxygen from your brain. Remind yourself that you can do things and carry out tasks without a cigarette and BE HAPPY about it too - you're getting FREE - besides, plenty of non smokers accomplish these tasks and stay happy without a cigarette

Don't pity yourself! Really, thats a killer! You are really achieving something, its nothing to feel sorry for yourself for and if you are doing, its just the addiction trying to get you again! It WILL pass!

Finally, when you are getting a craving, drink water or chew a licorice stick and keep thinking that smoking a cigarette won't get rid of the craving, it will just create another craving for another cigarette, then the addiction wins. You won't feel satisfied by the cigarette cos all its ended is the aggravation of the craving - which will pass!

Long long message I know, but I'm in the midst of it myself so I do know. Every few days it becomes a bit easier, I promise you

Chin up girl, you're winning!!!!


wiltshire Tue 26-Aug-03 22:42:20

Aloha, with my history of ectopic & miscarriages, I guess that I just thought 'it's not worth it as I am not ever going to have a baby'. Now I feel sad that I couldn't give up but according to M/wife am having a huge baby & there are no probs so don't really know how I feel now.

happy1 Wed 03-Sep-03 10:04:39

hi everyone, sorry i haven't posted for a long time. I'm not doing very well again i'm afraid, but it doesn't help that I've recently met 2 other pregnant people who still smoke like troopers. However I don't smoke as much as them, and I don't see them that often. Thanks for your message and email lisa78, Iwill get back to you. I've got my first scan this morning so I'm really excited! It might make me realise there is something there. I can do this, I know I can, and I do believe I will conquer this addiction.

aloha Wed 03-Sep-03 10:18:19

Sorry Wiltshire, didn't think about pregnancy after m/c. It's still not too late to cut down or give up though, as you prob won't want to smoke around a newborn. As I say, I am very grateful I never started as giving things up isn't a strong point of mine.

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