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Smoking when pg - Page 3

post #41 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzybaby9 View Post
Yes, it's an addiction...but how are so many women who find out they are pg able to quit cold turkey & so easily, too? Maybe because they care more about the health of their unborn child than their quick nicotine fix? There were plenty of times I craved a cigarette (and other major substances I abused before finding out I was pg) but you find the strength within yourself to steer clear of those things when you have another life to look after. I'm not passing judgement... just saying I know how it feels to have to give up drugs, drinking & smoking so my child has the best chance to have a healthy life.
Please read the post above yours.
post #42 of 97
I do know that "The Farm" midwives wouldn't have taken me (I'm not with them now) if I had smoked. They think that is a bigger risk to Uterine Rupture than my previous c-section and told me about placentas that were green and crumbling in their hands from mothers who smoked.
post #43 of 97
Oh boy this thread is a little touchy huh?! Its really hard to quit smoking. I think a lot of it has to do with your situation too. With DD I was in a very bad place personally, a lot of issues going on that caused extra problems for me and it was very very hard. With DS I was in a much better spot all around and it was much easier. I understand to quit completely is best but so is never starting in the 1st place. Sometimes you have to weigh your options and do whatever's best at the time. At least if you smoke during pregnancy manage to cut back and make sure your nutrition in all other aspects is in its best to try to outweigh the bad. Do whatever you can to make it better but I wouldn't judge someone that smokes while pregnant if they're trying to do the best they can. Now if the sit there smoking 2 pks a day....
post #44 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by angela1435 View Post
Unless you have been there, you won't understand what it's like. It has nothing to do with loving your child or not caring about their health and well being. It is an addiction. I smoked for half of my first pregnancy. I still feel immense guilt about it.

Angela
I agree, it has to be hard. I don't smoke, did for a year or two in high school, but gave it up.

My friend smokes and is due soon. She also has a seizure disorder and her OB and neurologist advised her to wean down slowly instead of going cold turkey due to the fact that she has to avoid any shock to her body or risk having a serious seizure. She has weaned down a good bit. Was at about a pack a day and now maybe 4 or 5 cigs a day. I just try to be supportive and tell her that I know how hard it must be, and that every cig she doesn't smoke or only smokes half of is a victory.

My only hope is that she and the father don't smoke around the baby when its born, they have a nice covered porch so she can easily go outside. What upsets me to see is moms who smoke right in the living room with the baby next to them. There is no excuse to not go outside or at least to another room, close the door, and open the window.
post #45 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by HannahsMomma View Post
I quit cold turkey the day I found out I was pregnant with dd. I was six weeks pregnant. I was really afraid of hurting her. I try not to be judgemental but I smoked for 10 years and I was a heavy smoker - like a pack a day !
Is that a "heavy smoker" nowadays? When I was a kid, my mom went through a carton (20 packs) a week.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzybaby9 View Post
Yes, it's an addiction...but how are so many women who find out they are pg able to quit cold turkey & so easily, too? Maybe because they care more about the health of their unborn child than their quick nicotine fix? There were plenty of times I craved a cigarette (and other major substances I abused before finding out I was pg) but you find the strength within yourself to steer clear of those things when you have another life to look after. I'm not passing judgement... just saying I know how it feels to have to give up drugs, drinking & smoking so my child has the best chance to have a healthy life.
You know how it feels *for you*. There are all kinds of addiction. A good friend's parents used to smoke, drink, and do all kinds of other drugs. They didn't even start quitting until after their third child was born, even though the second had FAS. I don't know the entire story of how they quit the illegal stuff, but when it was time to quit drinking, mom joined AA and went through hell; dad just stopped. When it was time to quit smoking, same thing... for the mom, it was a HUGE struggle, for the dad it was just "Oh, ok, we're not doing this anymore."

My parents were similar, actually. My dad was a social smoker at some points in his life. He'd have a cigarette if everyone else was having one. But he was never addicted to cigarettes. There were times in his life when he drank too much, but when his doctor told him "You can't do that anymore," he just stopped. My mom, on the other hand, spent the first 8 years of my life trying to quit smoking. She tried smokenders, aversion therapy, everything. Finally, intense psychotherapy and regression hypnosis got her to a place where she could stop. She didn't allow herself to drink alcohol for a year after she stopped, either, because she was terrified of replacing one addiction with another.

So yes, some people can just stop, some people need a whole lot more... support, time, strength, alternatives, motivation, whatever. If both parents smoke, as one poster mentioned, it's going to be much harder for mom to quit for the baby, because it's always there, taunting her. If all your friends smoke, it's much harder to be the one who doesn't. If you live in a state where people still smoke in restaurants, it's hard to go out without smoke in your face. I think it was a lot easier for my good friend (same one as whose parents I talked about above) to quit smoking when he did, because by that time, he was the only one left; none of his good friends smoked anymore. It's also practically illegal to smoke indoors or near doorways here in California. He'd tried many other times, and even managed to stop for a while here and there (usually for a girlfriend), but always started up again because his social circle all smoked.

I'm judgemental about some of the stuff I've heard on this thread, but mostly about the DOCTORS who are advising women to keep smoking because quitting would be too stressful. :-( That's pathetic; all a smoker needs is an excuse to continue to just destroy any resolve they might have to quit. Being pregnant can be a wonderful motivator, and can give many women the strength and resolve they need to finally give it up... but if your doctor is telling you NOT to?! Yeah, right, there goes that.
post #46 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishcupcake View Post
One of the things that drew me to this site is the openmindedness...guess that only extends to certain topics.
yup.
post #47 of 97
I've had clients that have smoked - some cut back, but most women don't really *want* to quit even hearing about how it affects their baby and their pregnancy.

Just like I've had some women who do not breastfeed, the point here is that women are made aware of the risks/benefits and it's up to them to do what THEY WANT.

I'd like to think that my smoking clients work on their nutrition intake more than my non-smokers, but there is something about a lifestyle choice to continue to smoke that typically means they're not really eating more than the standard american diet.

Having been a former smoker, I'm less empathetic about how hard it is to quit. Mainly because looking at how smoking affects your unborn baby, its response to the time a woman smokes, etc., would mean that I would do anything to quit. However, like I said, nearly all of my clients that smoked didn't really want to quit. Some cut back, but because I didn't shame them about it, I felt like they were honest about their intake. People that get shamed won't be honest about how much they're smoking.

I wouldn't risk a woman out for smoking - but I would inform them of the risks to their baby and to their pregnancy. Just like anything else, we cannot possibly control or impose our beliefs on another person.
post #48 of 97
I smoked while pregnant with dd. I quit several times and started again due to incredibly stressful circumstances. I finally quit a year ago just before she turned one.

I think it is a given that most mothers nowadays would feel various levels of guilt (most likely proportional to their education of the dangers) and most would try their best to quit. That in itself should deter any judgement.

But I will tell you that ANY judgemental attitude you may think may be helpful, even so much as a raised eyebrow or frown given to an expecting smoking mama will certainly NOT help her. Quitting is very stressful and having pressure in the form of judgement makes it even more so.

I too am disappointed too by the tone of some of you mamas. I mean does it make you feel better about yourself to look down on those who struggle with this?

I am in no way arguing for smoking, of course. Not wanting to be judged for something that is very difficult is a completely different animal
post #49 of 97
pamamidwife, we cross posted. Really, in your experience most smokers don't want to quit? I find that really hard to believe. Strange. Every mother (except one) I've ever known who was a smoker wanted to quit.
post #50 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by GiggleBirds View Post
I smoked while pregnant with dd. I quit several times and started again due to incredibly stressful circumstances. I finally quit a year ago just before she turned one.

I think it is a given that most mothers nowadays would feel various levels of guilt (most likely proportional to their education of the dangers) and most would try their best to quit. That in itself should deter any judgement.

But I will tell you that ANY judgemental attitude you may think may be helpful, even so much as a raised eyebrow or frown given to an expecting smoking mama will certainly NOT help her. Quitting is very stressful and having pressure in the form of judgement makes it even more so.

I too am disappointed too by the tone of some of you mamas. I mean does it make you feel better about yourself to look down on those who struggle with this?

I am in no way arguing for smoking, of course. Not wanting to be judged for something that is very difficult is a completely different animal

I was extremely stressed during this pregnancy too and I still quit. I'm not saying I "look down" on other Mamas, just saying it's better when you find another way to deal with stress rather than pollute your body and your babe's body. See what I mean?
I was only 18 when I got pregnant and was into heavy drinking and drugs and once I got over the cravings I felt like a whole new person. Instead of polluting my body, I fed it healthy food and exercised...it made a world of difference in my stress levels. I'm not "knockin'" on anyone, just saying how I got through it all. It takes alot of self-control and the days I wanted a cigarette so bad I'd just do stretches or get extremely moody and yell at everyone...but still held back from actually lighting up. I did only smoke for about 4 years though, so I understand it's MUCH harder for those who smoked longer...
post #51 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishcupcake View Post
Wow, reading the replies in this thread made me so sad. This is, by far, the most judgemental I've seen the Mamas on MDC. I quit smoking the day I found out I had a little peanut on the way, but I wouldn't go around calling someone who didn't chose my path selfish. One of the things that drew me to this site is the openmindedness...guess that only extends to certain topics.
Coming from someone whose mother smoked (a lot) while pg with her...I do find it incredibly selfish for a woman to continue smoking while pg. With all that we know about the harm that smoking can do, it is extremely selfish to not consider the damage you are doing to your baby just for your own high. My mom and I have an excellent relationship but I find that her decision to continue smoking while pg with me and my sister a risk she had no business taking. She's loves me and my sister to pieces but she's a lucky woman that we didn't suffer any real damage that it would have taken years (if ever) for her to get over.

I know that it is an addiction (my dh smokes) and I understand it's hard but the instinct to protect your child should override the difficulty IMO. I've never been a smoker and maybe that's why I don't fully get it but I've overcome other strongholds in my life for the sake of my health and my family and I believe that with God all things are possible. Even if you don't believe in God, your belief in self and your own willpower can get you through things like this too.
post #52 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by GiggleBirds View Post

But I will tell you that ANY judgemental attitude you may think may be helpful, even so much as a raised eyebrow or frown given to an expecting smoking mama will certainly NOT help her. Quitting is very stressful and having pressure in the form of judgement makes it even more so.

I too am disappointed too by the tone of some of you mamas. I mean does it make you feel better about yourself to look down on those who struggle with this?

I am in no way arguing for smoking, of course. Not wanting to be judged for something that is very difficult is a completely different animal
I agree that pressure often makes smokers retreat and actually want to go find a cig.

I don't think it's right to smoke while pregnant but I am not saying it's easy to quit either. It's very hard but it has to be done for the sake of the child. I just don't understand women who don't just find the strength inside and just do it for their babies.

And also, just b/c I don't agree that smoking while pg is right doesn't mean I look down on anyone. People have to find it within themselves the strength and willpower to quit and no matter what I say it won't change the fact that my dh won't quit until he's ready. But if he were a woman with a baby inside him (her?) then although moot, I would HAVE to voice my opposition to it. There would be no way I could look the other way.
post #53 of 97
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post #54 of 97
I dont really buy into the whole "it's too hard to quit" thing. Whoever said being a mom was going to be easy?? It's hard to stay up all night for months with a colicky baby, but I did it because that is my job as a mom. My job is to make sure my child is well cared for. Of course I could've put earplugs in and let him scream all night because I needed my sleep. That wouldve been easier.

When you don't quit, you are putting your needs before your baby's needs plain and simple.
post #55 of 97
Because calling women selfish is a super awesome motivator.

Newsflash people.. it often takes much more than just willpower. Your situation isn't mine and mine is not yours. There is no way you can stand there and say that I should have just been able to suck it up and withstand for the sake of my baby. You don't have the authority to judge me like that. Circumstances are different for everyone, and the addiction is different for everyone as well.

I could give a lot of personal information to show how hard it was for ME to overcome smoking. But whats the point? According to some of you it still wasn't done fast enough, or wasn't a big priority, or my child wasn't important enough to me..

Damned if you do, damned if you don't. No wonder other mothers don't try to quit. What incentive do they even have? A bunch of women telling them that it was easy, and that they should have done it months ago, or the most famous of all, "Well you shouldn't have started in the first place."
Kick someone when they're down. That sure helps.

Mothers always seem to know just how to knock other mothers down. No matter how many threads I see it in, it still disappoints and saddens me.
post #56 of 97
[QUOTE=Grace24;9148243]Any-hoo, to me the hardest part of quitting anything, smoking included, is that you have to figure out what to do INSTEAD. So if someone's smoking for stress-relief, they need a support network or another outlet. Many people don't have that in place or know how hard it will be.QUOTE]

Good point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jest View Post
I also know someone who's doctor told her she shouldn't quit smoking because the withdrawal would be too hard for the baby.
I've heard similar stories, also. It almost sounds as if the OB is encouraging the Mother to continue smoking. I don't get that. Also, if the withdrawal would be too hard for the baby in utero, what makes it not too hard for the baby once it's born? Don't doctors think of that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by angela1435 View Post
Unless you have been there, you won't understand what it's like. It has nothing to do with loving your child or not caring about their health and well being. It is an addiction. I smoked for half of my first pregnancy. I still feel immense guilt about it.

I don't blame any of you for feeling so strongly about this subject but please don't place judgement on women who do this. I felt the same way about pregnant women who smoked until I got pregnant and had such a hard time quitting. Thankfully I finally did and with this pregnancy it isn't an issue.

They need support, not judgement. Now, when I see a pregnant woman that smokes, i feel pity, because I know exactly what she is going through. I felt like I was in my own private hell until I quit. :

Just try to be open minded.

Angela
I admit- my sister is 6 months pregnant with my nephew and still smoking a pack a day and I want nothing more than to smack her silly, becuase if frustrates me to see what it's doing to her and to her baby, but I know it would do no good, mostly because of the reasons you mentioned above. Sometimes, I have to try so hard not to be judemental because I've never been a smoker and I can't imagine smoking while pregnant. She's also having other complications with the pregnancy (I think it's called placenta previa?) and the baby is really small. I'm worried about his health and even his life every day. There are many times when I'm literally biting my tongue not to be judgemental because of the danger she's putting her baby in, whether or not she can help it, not because I don't care about her having an addiction or even because I think she's a bad Mother for smoking while pregnant, but because I'm afraid for this child's health. Do you have any advice on how I can help her to quit or encourage her to at least cut back? Anything I can do to help her and especially her baby, my nephew?
post #57 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inspired007 View Post
I don't think it's right to smoke while pregnant but I am not saying it's easy to quit either. It's very hard but it has to be done for the sake of the child. I just don't understand women who don't just find the strength inside and just do it for their babies.
Well, when you understand it, then it's time to judge. What's that old Indian saying about walking a mile in someone else's moccasins?

There's lots of things I don't understand, either. Never having had a cigarette in my life, I don't *quite* understand smoking, but having watched what my mom went through, I more or less get what it does to people. I don't understand religion, having never been religious myself. I know other atheists who think that NO ONE should believe in god and that it's a sign of weakness. Even though I didn't really have any comprehension of belief until seeing Julia Sweeney's play "Letting Go of God," I still never quite thought that it was appropriate to demand that others give up what I don't need... even while they used their beliefs as an excuse to hurt me or others close to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by harleyhalfmoon View Post
Do you have any advice on how I can help her to quit or encourage her to at least cut back? Anything I can do to help her and especially her baby, my nephew?
An online friend who recently quit said two books really helped her: "The Easy Way To Quit Smoking" and "A Life in Smoke." The first is prescriptional, I gather; the second is about a woman who chained herself to a radiator for a week so she could quit.

Mostly, approach with empathy. By telling her that you know that cigarettes have a very strong hold on her, and that you love her and her baby and her family whatever she does, *and* that, if she gets to the point she wants to quit, you will do ANYTHING you can to help her, you may help her gather the strength to do it.

If she does confide that she wants to quit, but doesn't know how, offer her a day out... the WHOLE day... going to places where she's unlikely to be confronted by smokers. Make it special and pick up the tab. ;-) Let her know that you know not everyone can just quit cold-turkey right away, so she doesn't feel embarrassed and avoid you if she starts again :-(. You can tell her that it's ok if this is a practice run, and you know she'll stop for good when she can.

Other tricks that help: get her a bottle of whole cloves. Chewing on one deadens the mouth the same way nicotine does, so it can help when you're SERIOUSLY craving (though it should be saved for the worst cravings... straight whole cloves aren't terribly good for you either). If you can, find wax gum... it's not as cloyingly sweet as standard gum, and still keeps the mouth busy (my mom used to stock up on it every Halloween and keep it in the fridge). A pocket touchstone or other fidget-toy can help with keeping hands busy; you could even see if there's something like a Klutz book for learning to spin a coin across your fingers and give her a special coin to do it with.

Wellbutrin is an anti-depressant that is also used to help quit smoking (in smaller doses) because it acts on the brain the same way nicotine does. It's Class B for pregnancy; not a whole lot is known about its effects during pregnancy, but nothing bad has turned up so far. Psychiatrists are more inclined to prescribe the class C but better-studied SSRIs, as they feel more confident of their relatively minor effects... but I took Wellbutrin during my second, third, and "fourth" trimesters, and the only noticeable effect was that my son didn't establish a reasonable napping pattern until I stopped (one of the side effects is interfering with sleep, so they recommend that you take the second dose no later than 2 p.m.).
post #58 of 97
I've never been a regular smoker but the DAY I found out I was pregnant I quit everything including most over the counter drugs LOL I still have a can of caffinated soda a couple times a week and tylenol once is a while but that's about it for me LOL I have read some interesting articles lately about how smoking pot once in a while is probably not as harmful as people think, especially if you're having a lot of m/s and not able to eat much but I would think the same for just about anything...I mean if you smoke one or two cigarettes a week I don't think it matters too much but not many people only smoke twice a week

Ally
post #59 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by GiggleBirds View Post
pamamidwife, we cross posted. Really, in your experience most smokers don't want to quit? I find that really hard to believe. Strange. Every mother (except one) I've ever known who was a smoker wanted to quit.
Yes. I've had four in my practice, one worked to quit diligently and eventually did in her second trimester. One kept asking about the risks, but then said a couple of times, "I just like smoking, I don't know that I want to quit." The other two reduced their number of cigarettes, but even then was smoking more than you'd expect. They said things like, "I heard from a doctor that it isn't good to quit cold turkey"....it was clear that the smoking risks didn't bother them as much as what it would mean to stop smoking.

So my sample size is a bit small (because women who smoke aren't always the ones lining up for homebirth), but this was my experience.
post #60 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironica View Post
An online friend who recently quit said two books really helped her: "The Easy Way To Quit Smoking" and "A Life in Smoke." The first is prescriptional, I gather; the second is about a woman who chained herself to a radiator for a week so she could quit.

Mostly, approach with empathy. By telling her that you know that cigarettes have a very strong hold on her, and that you love her and her baby and her family whatever she does, *and* that, if she gets to the point she wants to quit, you will do ANYTHING you can to help her, you may help her gather the strength to do it.

If she does confide that she wants to quit, but doesn't know how, offer her a day out... the WHOLE day... going to places where she's unlikely to be confronted by smokers. Make it special and pick up the tab. ;-) Let her know that you know not everyone can just quit cold-turkey right away, so she doesn't feel embarrassed and avoid you if she starts again :-(. You can tell her that it's ok if this is a practice run, and you know she'll stop for good when she can.

Other tricks that help: get her a bottle of whole cloves. Chewing on one deadens the mouth the same way nicotine does, so it can help when you're SERIOUSLY craving (though it should be saved for the worst cravings... straight whole cloves aren't terribly good for you either). If you can, find wax gum... it's not as cloyingly sweet as standard gum, and still keeps the mouth busy (my mom used to stock up on it every Halloween and keep it in the fridge). A pocket touchstone or other fidget-toy can help with keeping hands busy; you could even see if there's something like a Klutz book for learning to spin a coin across your fingers and give her a special coin to do it with.

Wellbutrin is an anti-depressant that is also used to help quit smoking (in smaller doses) because it acts on the brain the same way nicotine does. It's Class B for pregnancy; not a whole lot is known about its effects during pregnancy, but nothing bad has turned up so far. Psychiatrists are more inclined to prescribe the class C but better-studied SSRIs, as they feel more confident of their relatively minor effects... but I took Wellbutrin during my second, third, and "fourth" trimesters, and the only noticeable effect was that my son didn't establish a reasonable napping pattern until I stopped (one of the side effects is interfering with sleep, so they recommend that you take the second dose no later than 2 p.m.).
Thank you.
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