Worrying!! (one occasion exposure to second-hand smoke!)(20 Posts)
Can't sleep tonight I'm still so worried about it. Yesterday I felt I was in a dangerous situation from my baby and struggled to escape it easily yesterday. I'm 14 weeks pregnant.
I'm the sort of person that worries that everything is harming my baby e.g. a glass of coke, some chocolates, a take away. And I will always hold my breath briefly when walking past a smoker.
Yesterday my fiance invited me to the pub, so I knew I'd only have soft drinks and normally we just sit with his friends on a bench in the pub. I was really annoyed because when I first got there, we were outside and everyone was congratulating me, then had the cheek to light up a fag right next to me!!! I tried to move along a bit but it seemed like everyone was smoking around me. We were outside for no more than 20 mins and then went in.
Later on we had to come outside again because I was overheating and it was just too crowded in there. This time it was just crowded with smokers but one of ours friends got talking to us and I felt it would be rude to just rush off. But I started getting ancy as I was stood there for what felt like 10 mins in what felt like a ridiculous level of smoke and I was just soooo frightened it was harming the baby. So I pulled my fiance away and said we had to move, didn't care anymore if I was coming across as rude!
However I've been sat up now for the past hour freaking out about the effects of this on my baby I'm never going to the pub again while pregnant even if I figure it's just a soft drink... I never anticipated I'd end up being around so many smokers and risk harming my baby like this
There is absolutely no risk to your baby from exposure to second hand smoke like you describe.
I think you probably know this on a rational level.
Your reaction seems pretty extreme. Maybe talk to your midwife if you're getting anxious about lots of things like this.
10 mins of passive smoking will do nothing in the great scheme of things.
I wonder if you might be a bit anxious and need a bit of practice with relaxation during this pregnancy.
Honestly, I cannot see how that would harm a baby. Cig smoke (firsthand or secondhand) is never going to be good for babies, but look around you at the number of people who can't escape it when preg, from people smoking inside their houses with them and look at the lovely healthy babies they've all had. 20 mins standing near someone smoking outside is really no big deal.
I do understand what it's like when you've got all those PROTECT! PROTECT! PROTECT! hormones rushing around you, but on this occasion I think you can safely afford to relax.
"I've been sat up now for the past hour freaking out about the effects of this on my baby" That's an extreme reaction to such a small risk, I honestly think you need to relax. Did you have anxiety problems before pregnancy?
You cannot eliminate all risk, and most risks like this are tiny. It is more risky to get so stressed out like this about every single tiny thing that might possibly do anything to the baby - you have to get through 9 months don't forget!
Also, if you're telling people about the pregnancy and not having to keep it a secret, why not just calmly say "sorry I need to move away from you smoking, I'm pregnant"? People will move!
Pregnancy can really magnify anxiety, I think it's hormonal so we don't skydive or wash down raw meat with a bottle of vodka. We want to protect our babies at all cost.
I would have wanted to move too, it's really unpleasant sitting with smokers but the level of carbon monoxide you would have been exposed to would probably be the same as you would get walking along a busy city road. There won't be any harm done to your baby.
Defo speak to your midwife. (Not because baby is at risk, just so she can reassure you and knows you are anxious.
I would describe your anxiety with your midwife. If you feel like this now how will you feel if you were pushing your newborn in their pram past a group of smokers?
I agree the smoke is nothing to worry about, my mother smoked heavily all through pregnancy and breastfeeding and I'm one of the healthiest people I know. Not recommending that obviously but a few minutes in the company of smokers will do no harm whatsoever
What is a concern is your levels of cortisol (stress hormone) which have shown in research to impact significantly on the babies neurological development. I agree you need to talk to someone and find strategies to manage your anxiety
Hi Pregnant I totally get why you would be worried. I have felt the same around smokers since getting pregnant. I don't think you have any reason to be really concerned as there doesn't seem to be any evidence that second hand smoke has any impact on pregnancy. Even though I'm sure it felt like you were exposed to it for a long time it will probably do no harm as it will be a one off.
I am a paediatric nurse and am really anti smoking around children which I think is why I feel so strongly about it now I'm pregnant. I think if you're in that situation again please just say to your friends that you feel uncomfortable being around cigarette smoke. I'm sure they will understand. Most of my family smoke and have been really understanding about not smoking around me since I got pregnant.
As for anxiety obviously it might be good to talk to your midwife about it. Mine has been great as I have been really anxious due to having a lot of problems getting pregnant in the first place. I feel so strongly about avoiding things such as caffiene, paracetamol etc.
Hope you are feeling better and have had some sleep
You'll be fine OP, but please stop stressing.
Where in the world can you still smoke in pubs and on buses?
No harm in it whatsoever. Stop worrying right now...
I was just like you in my first pregnancy, worried about everything. And researched everything too. But there's actually very little you can do to harm your baby unless you do so consciously. The risks of everything are so tiny, especially after the first trimester. And 10 mins of passive smoking is no risk at all!
My friend took illegal drugs, legal drugs, alcohol and smoked months into her pregnancy (she didn't know she was pregnant) and gave birth to the healthiest, happiest and brightest little girl you can imagine.
They're designed to withstand a lot of crap. You just need to try to sort out your anxiety. As one private consultant said to me after I made an appointment to address all my pregnancy worries, you need to get a project and stop thinking about pregnancy! Good luck to you and congratulations!!
Another one here whose mother smoked and probably quite heavily while pregnant with me as at the time there was no concept that it could be bad for the baby. I am now an elderly grandmother and one of the healthiest people I know. I'm not recommending it, just a fact.
Your reaction seems far too extreme. We all worry, but not to this extent. I think you really need to speak to your midwife because this level of anxiety is far more damaging to your unborn child than 20 minutes outside near some cigarette smoke.
Don't worry, for most of this pregnancy I had been working on a building site (zoo rebuild) and there were smoking contractors all over the place! I frequently walked through a haze of smoke to try and get to the canteen or office!! Along with that I eat chocolate, coke and Take Aways (just not to extremes!!)... I have also handled veterinary drugs and animals for that matter - its just about being sensible and taking precautions .... I'm 35 weeks along now Maybe speak to your midwife if you are getting this panicky about stuff like that .... baby is well protected in there x
You're reaction is borderline obsessive. I don't know if it's hormones, or whatnot, but you need to calm down.
I agree you should speak to your midwife, and very soon - you are basically martyring yourself and your life for 9 months out of total paranoia!
There's nothing wrong with saying to people "sorry, can I move over here to be without the smoke?" provided you don't do it in a really snide, bitchy way.
In my younger days, I smoked directly next to a pregnant woman - indoors - and it literally didn't even cross my mind until someone pointed it out, at which point I felt awful. And she was about 6 months along!
That's part of it. To you, this pregnancy is your entire world by the sounds of it. To other people, nothing has really changed. They aren't going to be on constant look out to modify their behaviour.
Op I know how you feel I was also very anxious about everything when I was pregnant with dd drinking coke etc I had 4 miscarriages previously so was really anxious I didn't want to risk my baby in any way. I know now that I was being cautious to the exteme, maybe chat to your midwife about how you're feeling as I will say my anxiety carried on after she was born to the point of almost making me ill and only now 6 months down the line am I feeling better.
Honestly, I think your reaction would be more harmful than the second hand smoke. If you're that anxious your heart rate is probably elevated, cortisol up and probably adrenaline. You should speak with a HCP and discuss management of anxiety. You won't enjoy your pregnancy at all if you react like this on a regular basis.
Maybe sit down, concentrate on your breathing and have a comforting hot drink (decaf if preferred).
Minor exposure to second hand smoke won't harm your baby. Maybe if you lived with a chain smoker or travelled regularly in very small contained spaces with no ventilation.
But, I think you know this? Your choice of words leads me to believe you know you're overreacting. So, it's now a case that you need to do something to help manage anxieties in the future, whether mindfulness, cgt or even a statistics course so you can evaluate the risks more appropriately. Everything we do has an element of risk (stay inside in bed all day and you're not getting sufficient exercise and fresh air, exercise to excess is bad, don't fancy food due to MS and nutrition suffers, overeat due to craving and there's a risk of gd), but they are all minimal risks we all face.
Please try to get this anxiety under control. If you think pregnancy is stressful, wait till the baby's actually out! Then crawling around busily as a toddler. Then standing up, then walking. Then running, scooting, riding a bike, going out alone, driving a car, moving out...
I'm a worrier and I can tell you, motherhood can be TERRIFYING but you just HAVE to let go a certain extent. (My mum advised me of that!) otherwise you're essentially giving away the rest of your life to panic.
Join the discussion
Please login first.