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Smoking whilst pregnant

(31 Posts)
gemzitab Sat 11-Aug-18 12:10:10

Hello there
Not posted in a while.

I'm struggling very much with giving up smoking whilst pregnant. I am 20 weeks and having a little boy.

I was told that my baby might be on the small side due to this but then could also be huge like my daughter was.

Anybody else struggled with this?
With my first pregnancy I gave up successfully but I've tried patches vapes and I'm really not doing so well.
I am ashamed and I worry about the harm I may do although I am assured baby is very healthy.

I also sometimes have the odd glass of wine and I have no idea if this is harmful of not- maybe 3 glasses a week.

Please no judgement. I'm just a mum who has has an extremely hard year that's just passed and I suffer from diagnosed OCD and ptsd

I'm eating incredibly healthily and myself and baby are well. I just wondered if anybody else had struggles with giving up smoking??

thereareflowersinmygarden Sat 11-Aug-18 12:18:32

It's hard, very hard. No judgement from me. I gave up when pregnant though- you just have to make it your number one priority.

I replaced it with cake and got a bit fat. Sod the healthy eating, quitting smoking is more important.

eastie1122 Sat 11-Aug-18 12:22:45

It's so hard.. no judgement here either.. but even cutting down drastically all helps..good luck!

glintandglide Sat 11-Aug-18 12:24:07

No judgement here it’s pretty common amongst all types of mothers. Are you getting any support from your midwife?

Bowlofbabelfish Sat 11-Aug-18 12:30:19

It is hard to quit - nicotine isnpowerfully addictive. However please do try as hard as you can to quit - ask your MW because there are pregnancy specific services. It’s not just smoking while pregnant that is harmful, smoking around babies is too.

The current best research we have seems to show that 1-2 units a week is not associated with worse outcomes. However remember that a glass can easily be 3 units and that’s well over any safe level for pregnancy. There is also work showing subtle changes in face shape with much lower consumption especially in the second half of the first trimester and then growth restriction after that.

OCD is a really tough thing to deal with - again ask your MW for a referral because the services in pregnancy are much better than services generally.

It sounds like you’ve had a very tough time of it. Smoking remains about the worst thing you can do to your body though. Please ask your MW for help - it is out there.

Grazek Sat 11-Aug-18 12:35:28

no judgement from me. It is not easy to quit
I have managed to quit smoking when I found out I'm pregnant but then I didn't find out until I was 13 weeks and I was smoking/ drinking during this time.
I am told baby is healthy and everything is fine but I cant stop worrying I might have hurt her without knowing.

thereareflowersinmygarden Sat 11-Aug-18 12:38:06

I missed the wine bit.

I thought alcohol was worse than smoking for your baby?

If anything, I'd focus on that

gemzitab Sun 12-Aug-18 11:50:18

Thank you all for your kind non judgemental messages.
I will ask my midwife for referral for smoking cessation as I know I can get patches for free there

NameChangedNow Sun 12-Aug-18 11:55:08

I really really struggled with this especially as I was feeling quite down at the beginning of my pregnancy and I really LOVE smoking. I'm not just addicted I actually love the taste and act of doing it. I did quit though after about 6 attempts and a little 'ritual'. Keep trying and you will get there. smile I am going to be bottle feeding and imagine I will go back to smoking pretty quickly afterward. I don't want to but I foresee it happening to be honest. If I can do like my grandmother and have one a day that would be ideal grin

EmptyOrchestra Sun 12-Aug-18 12:06:17

I wasn’t able to quit. I cut down a lot but still smoked a few here and there. I tried so hard.

One of my children has a lot of health issues. I’ll never know if it was my fault which is so hard to live with, but not as hard as it is for him. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forgive myself. The doctors said there’s no evidence it’s related, but that doesn’t help.

I would do everything you can to stop, cut down, whatever you can do. I do know how hard it is, so no judgement from me.

user1468348545 Sun 12-Aug-18 12:49:47

I'm with you here. I honestly thought I'd find it so easy to quit but have got so much stress going on around me that I'm finding it near impossible. I've cut down dramatically from about 20 a day to 2/3 most days and probably about 7/8 on my worst. My midwives have been fantastic in being supportive of the fact this is a dramatic improvement. I did ask about vaping but they said especially as I use rolling tobacco that they would actually rather this as I can keep tabs on how many I'm having rather than with a vape not being able to keep tabs on nicotine intake as easily.
The only thing I am cross about is twice I've been referred for smoking cessation and I've phoned the midwives too to follow up and I've still heard absolutely nothing. First referral was over 8 weeks ago now and I do feel a little disheartened that with asking for help and especially being pregnant that support would be great, but it doesn't seem to be a priority. Though I guess should just be grateful for the nhs!!

Poppy2507 Sun 12-Aug-18 16:12:22

If I was you I'd be thinking more about quitting in general than quitting for your pregnancy. The harm to your children that may be caused if you continue to smoke, and then end up chronically ill because of it, far outweighs the harm done by smoking during pregnancy. My dad had copd, from smoking, and died from it when I was 22. He was ill for many years, -and it put a lot of pressure on me and my mum. I found that instead of sad I was more angry, as it was something he chose to do, and continue doing even after he got ill. I know giving up is hard but definitely worth it in the end, you don't want your children to end up resenting you like I did my dad.

Cakelaur Sun 12-Aug-18 23:22:33

If you have time to read. And Really want to quit.... I read "the easy way to stop smoking" by Allen Carr. Research it. Have an open mind. It worked for me. I've never looked back. It's just a book, so worth a go right?! Good luck babe. Xx

siblingrevelryagain Sun 12-Aug-18 23:35:38

Sorry, I am judgemental. From your post you know you shouldn’t be doing it, along with the drink. The only thing you can do is stop smoking (and drinking in my opinion).

I tried 6 times to give up over 10 years, including spending £300 on a smoking clinic, all to no avail. I loved smoking, couldn’t give up and was properly addicted, but gave up before trying to conceive.

Maybe try to picture your little boy inside you breathing in the smoke (like the adverts used to be). If you can think if the poor little thing having to process the toxins, when he should be growing healthy organs and tissue, it might give you incentive to give up.

I know people will criticise me and tell me how hard it is, but in a word: tough! Time to get a grip and put baby first.

MagicalCreatures Mon 13-Aug-18 22:27:23

I mean this in the nicest way possible, only to try and make you see that what you are doing is wrong.
Rather then like most people giving you some sob story about how hard it is on you to give up, think about how hard it is for your baby to grow strong and healthy whilst your doing that to him. He is a lot more fragile then you and his poor little body is putting up with a lot.
Like I said, I’m being hard on you coz I think you need abit of tough love in this situation.
I have smoked on and off since I was 15 and was a continuous smoker for 2 years before trying to conceive.
I have a very addictive personality due to Bipolar disorder and was on medication.
I went cold turkey on the lot (smoking, drinking and came off my meds) because having a healthy baby was far more important to me then needing to feed my habits and I knew I could never live with myself if I caused an issue with my poor, fragile and innocent unborn child.
So it can be done.
I know a woman who smoked during her entire pregnancy, it sickened me and when he was a week old, he landed up in hospital
In special care for 2 weeks with a severe case of Bronchiolitis.
Please try and give up or atleast cut back.

Angharad07 Tue 14-Aug-18 00:00:19

Every time you take a puff of the cigarette imagine your baby inhaling all the smoke. The nicotine carried through your blood can cause cancer and the carbon monoxide means he gets less oxygen to feed his brain and body. This helped me quit. 20 weeks is far too long to keep smoking, you need to nip it in the bud now.

Hazardswan Tue 14-Aug-18 00:03:24

No judgement here. Try to cut down as much as you can and try not to stress it. It'll be a lot worse if your smoking 10 a day and stressing about it so then you smoke even more!

Angharad07 Tue 14-Aug-18 00:07:53

I have an unpopular opinion but I believe that people should stop using stress and the term ‘addiction’ to excuse themselves. If you want to quit then you will. I’ve had a very stressful time during my pregnancy and I’m am by no means perfect in but the smoking had to stop. If you cut cold turkey for 3 days then the physiological side affects of addiction cease and the only battle you’re facing is habit. Stop blaming the NHS, stop blaming stress, and stop focusing on how hard it is and actually do it. I feel sorry for people with so little will power!

BlueBug45 Tue 14-Aug-18 00:26:59

@thereareflowersinmygarden they can't prove either way whether the occasional glass of something alcoholic will harm the foetus even though women drank much more while pregnant up until the last decade of the 20th century as it is unethical to do such studies on pregnant women.

As most people are bad at estimating how much they eat it is presumed that most people will lie or under estimate how much alcohol they consume, so it is easiest to tell pregnant women not to drink any rather than say you can have one small glass occasionally. The terms "small glass" and "occasionally" are subjective as while pubs are suppose to do 125ml glasses for wine most people, unless they have old wine glasses, wine glasses at home are much bigger. Likewise to me 'occasionally' would mean a special event which would happen every 2-6 months there as to other people it could mean once a week.

There however is lots of evidence to prove that smoking is harmful and has long term negative effects on the foetus, babies, children, other adults and the mother, herself.

I do know that many smokers associate smoking and drinking together and find it easier to quit if they don't drink, so it may help the OP to stop smoking if she stops drinking completely. I also know from others who have tried to quit in the past and have then been successful that deliberately socialising only with friends and family who don't smoke in the initial months of giving up helped them a lot.

Drivenmad80 Tue 14-Aug-18 01:20:58

My parents were heavy smokers and I still have problems now. I was premature, jaundiced, always had ear/chest infections as a child. Now my hearing is affected. An ENT dr told me that is is very likely because of passive smoking and smoking through pregnancy. I know giving up is hard but please get all the help you can. Like others have said.. think of your tiny baby trying to process all the toxins. Good luck x

Whateverletmepost Tue 14-Aug-18 01:27:57

Have you tried a proper vape machine? I dont mean the cigarette lookalikes you get from Tesco, but something bought from a vape shop? I couldn't quit with the former, but with the latter its been easy. Its like night and day, and hardly feels any different to smoking. You can change the nicotine content to suit you, and there are loads of options depending on how much 'smoke' you want, whether you want the throat hit or not, and how hot you want the 'smoke' to be. And of course loads of flavours. I thought it was just marketing until a friend quit using one and let me try it. I bought mine from Totally Wicked, which has loads of branches. They do tons of offers and incentives and discounts to get you to quit smoking, and reward you with free vape juices after every month of being smoke free. I dont work for them! Just it was the only thing that helped me smile

Merrydoula Tue 14-Aug-18 04:07:04

No judgement, i too have OCD have PTSD from previous events in my life. I know how hard it is and it seems pregnancy heightens these fears, thoughts, feelings.

Unfortunately there is no simple answer to quitting smoking and drinking. You simply just have to have the willpower to stop, i find all of this gradual giving up and things in between such a vapes can actually keep fuelling the addiction, if i were you id just bare the pain and completely cut, i think it will help you.

AtlantaGinandTonic Tue 14-Aug-18 04:33:35

I was told by my midwife that cutting down smoking is sometimes better than quitting completely, especially for heavy smokers. She said that the stress you would be under from quitting cold turkey would be worse for the baby. I've never smoked but that made sense to me. Then, gradually reduce to none if possible. Good luck, OP, I know from watching loved ones quit that it's hard.

GemGem97 Tue 14-Aug-18 10:12:11

i have the odd glass of wine still, only red, and only 1 glass - special occasions like my birthday or on significant days that make me sad (from a traumatic loss in my life) - i am a very highly strung person, i stress and worry a lot! So if me having a bit of wine every couple/few weeks keeps me calm on bad days then I don’t see a problem. Like people said, generations ago people used to smoke and drink throughout and we all made it here??. I gave up smoking as I was able to, but just try to cut down as much as you can. If the occasional fag stops you from being stressed (which is incredibly harmful) then just do that.

Valanice1989 Sat 18-Aug-18 18:59:54

Where are all these studies showing that the stress of quitting is more dangerous for the baby than continuing to smoke? How do you even quantify that? I've heard so many people claim that their doctor told them this, but they never say what they're planning to do to about the baby's withdrawal after birth.

If the stress of nicotine withdrawal can kill a baby in the womb, what do doctors do for babies who are born to heavy smokers? Do they shove a fag in the kid's mouth as soon as the umbilical cord is cut? Okay, I'm guessing they don't! grin But seriously, do they give them special infant nicotine patches? I can't get my head around it.

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