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#1 of 97 Old 09-11-2007, 10:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, quite a controversial title eh?
Just for the record, I am not pg, and do not smoke, but am just curious about this.I did smoke, until I surprisingly found out I was pg with dd1, then totally stopped cold turkey.
Since then I have come across a few mothers, who smoked whilst pg and nursing. One of the mothers said that her Dr. told her it was too risky for the baby for her to give up smoking, and that it was quite ok, and not to worry. So she smoked through her next 2 pregnancies also.
The other mother really quite frankly did not care, and smoked quite openly.

I am not being pious, as being an ex smoker, but just curious.

Any thoughts?

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#2 of 97 Old 09-11-2007, 11:32 AM
 
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I cut down right after my BFP and then quit a few days later, pretty much cold turkey. I haven't missed it at all and I will try really hard to not pick it up again after this little one is born. DH just quit last week and so far has been doing well.

As far as smoking while pregnant, I decided it was something I definately didn't want to do. My Mom smoked with all of her pregnancies. I was first, born 6 weeks early and pretty healthy. Then she had 2 MC, then my sister Amy, who was born with a heart defect and only lived 7 months (1977). My brother was born, early as well, and has always gotten sick (pnumonia, bronchituis) very easy. He was also diganosed with ADD which could also be due to my mom smoking while pregnant. My mom never did quit smoking and died of a heart attack at age 47, another reason I needed to quit--I want to be around to see my grandchildren!


I know it is VERY hard to quit, I tried many times and it never stuck. But, I guess now that it just isn't affecting me, it hasn't been as hard to quit.
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#3 of 97 Old 09-11-2007, 01:28 PM
 
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You know, I had no idea many people smoked while pregnant. Honestly, I must be so naive. THen I started looking at the Nov 07 due date club on babycenter.com and there have been a STARTLING number of moms who are still smoking at 7 mos pregnant.

Not only do they still smoke and justify it by saying it's too stressful to quit, that their OBs say its better to smoke than quit b/c of the stress, but they are INTENSELY defensive over it.

Honestly, it makes me really sad. But maybe I'm just totally elitist and sheltered. I smoked for 10 years, quit the day I found out I was pregnant, and still crave a cigarette every day. It was HARD for me to quit smoking, had tried so many times over 5 or more years, and yet having a baby made me quit.

Is it just me, or does it seem CRAZY??
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#4 of 97 Old 09-11-2007, 03:00 PM
 
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I quit cold turkey as soon as I found out I was pg. I knew a woman who smoked right up through her labor and continues to smoke still. In my eyes, she is selfish and it really : me.

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#5 of 97 Old 09-11-2007, 04:01 PM
 
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I quite cold turkey the day I found out I was pregnant too... so did my mom, it just seemed like the right thing to do for me.

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#6 of 97 Old 09-11-2007, 04:07 PM
 
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One of my closest friends did this. I will never understand. :

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#7 of 97 Old 09-11-2007, 04:08 PM
 
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I quit cold turkey the day I found out I was pregnant with #1 too (at 4 weeks)

It was the easiest quitting I ever did.

She has asthma and all I can say is that I cannot IMAGINE smoking once I had a baby or knew I was pregnant.

I will always wonder if my previous smoking had something to do with her asthma
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#8 of 97 Old 09-11-2007, 04:15 PM
 
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My mom quit smoking during all three of her pregnancies (me, then a m/c, and then my brother) but started up again shortly after we were born. I have no health problems, that I know of. My brother's got allergies, had a heart murmur that he outgrew, even had a brain tumor removed when he was 13! Did any of that have anything to do with mom smoking before or after? Not a clue.

My SIL quit for both her pregnancies as soon as she found out she was pregnant. Again, she started up again soon after.

I never started, having seen how hard it was for both my parents to quit, and so I never had to worry about quitting for anything I often wonder, particularly when my SIL's pregnant, why people go back to smoking, when they've quit during pregnancy.

I'd really like some opinions on this, if it doesn't hijack the thread too much

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#9 of 97 Old 09-11-2007, 04:23 PM
 
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My friend's mom was told that it would be better to just continue smoking then deal with the stress of quitting when she was pregnant, but that was 24 years ago! I can't believe this is still the advice that (some) doctors are giving.

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#10 of 97 Old 09-11-2007, 04:34 PM
 
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I smoked a pack and a half a day and had for near 10 years when I got pregnant and quit cold turkey. One of my friends' doctor told her that it was too stressful on her body to quit, and so she smoked a pack a day thru her pregnancy. She also got LOADED. I'm not talking a glass of wine here and there, I mean like bottles of wine when we'd go out to dinner. It was gross.
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#11 of 97 Old 09-11-2007, 04:35 PM
 
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I have a friend that was given the same advice about quitting being too stressful... but she was also almost 6 months preggo when she found out she was pregnant (she is a tad heavy and always had crazy cycles plus she had an anterior placenta) so the stress thing may have been a tad more valid... she cut way down though..

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#12 of 97 Old 09-11-2007, 04:45 PM
 
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Ack... Smoking is just such a sad thing, altogether. My Mom smoked through all seven of her pregnancies, and for the most part us kids were pretty healthy... We didn't have any major defects. We all lived in her cloud for YEARS... With lots of colds, flu, and ear infections. She finally gave it up when I was 9 or ten, she quit cold turkey and hasn't smoked since.

I never started smoking because I saw ho hard it was for my Mom, and I was SO proud of her for quitting. Thank God she was able to set such a good example for some of us.

My oldest sister smokes... Has smoked through four pregnancies, and it currently smoking through her fifth. It really breaks my heart, because she KNOWS BETTER... Her kids might not have asthma and heat murmurs, but they aren't as healthy as they could be. She has become indifferent... Using stupid excuses(stress) and pure laziness("I just don't want to mess with it...") as reasons why she can't even try to quit. Saying she has tried in the past, and using those failures to justify giving up. I love her, but it makes me very sad for her that her she is willing to let her addiction jeopardize the health of her children, especially after seeing my Mom and our family go through the same thing.

Then again, smoking is right on par with many other "addictions" women don't give up when pregnant... We all know there are things we shouldn't be putting in our bodies, be it nicotine, excess caffeine, artificial sweeteners, soda, processed food, trans fat, chemical junk... But we still cram down that Twinkie or toss back the Diet Coke. Not trying to be righteous, I've shoveled down my share of crap-laden ice cream... I just think it's a sad place to be, and that people need to accept and admit it when they are doing something wrong and at least make an effort to change. Less Twinkies, one Coke a week, one cigarette a day... Whatever. But don't sit there complacently chain smoking/horking junk food/guzzling phosphates making excuses for your shitty addiction when it screws with the lives of those around you. Okay... Rant done.
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#13 of 97 Old 09-11-2007, 05:01 PM
 
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#14 of 97 Old 09-11-2007, 05:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by gretelmom View Post
You know, I had no idea many people smoked while pregnant. Honestly, I must be so naive. THen I started looking at the Nov 07 due date club on babycenter.com and there have been a STARTLING number of moms who are still smoking at 7 mos pregnant.

Not only do they still smoke and justify it by saying it's too stressful to quit, that their OBs say its better to smoke than quit b/c of the stress, but they are INTENSELY defensive over it.

Honestly, it makes me really sad. But maybe I'm just totally elitist and sheltered. I smoked for 10 years, quit the day I found out I was pregnant, and still crave a cigarette every day. It was HARD for me to quit smoking, had tried so many times over 5 or more years, and yet having a baby made me quit.

Is it just me, or does it seem CRAZY??
I was shocking to me, when I worked in a gas station, how many pregnant women came in and bought cigarettes. They all appologized when they bought them, and explained that that's why they were buying ultra lights (I always wondered why they were appologizing to me).

I always wonder if OBs REALLY tell them that the stress of quitting would be harder on the baby than smoking. I just have a hard time believing it.

Since I'm of the "occassional drink is fine" camp, I'd suppose I could be of the "occassional smoke" came, as well. However, occassional to me means once a month or less, and I know of few smokers who could stop at one cigarette a month.

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Originally Posted by StrongBeliever View Post
Then again, smoking is right on par with many other "addictions" women don't give up when pregnant... We all know there are things we shouldn't be putting in our bodies, be it nicotine, excess caffeine, artificial sweeteners, soda, processed food, trans fat, chemical junk... But we still cram down that Twinkie or toss back the Diet Coke. Not trying to be righteous, I've shoveled down my share of crap-laden ice cream... I just think it's a sad place to be, and that people need to accept and admit it when they are doing something wrong and at least make an effort to change. Less Twinkies, one Coke a week, one cigarette a day... Whatever. But don't sit there complacently chain smoking/horking junk food/guzzling phosphates making excuses for your shitty addiction when it screws with the lives of those around you. Okay... Rant done.
I understand where you're coming from, but I can't say I entirely agree. I mean, can we really put smoking and alcohol abuse on bar with Twinkies and Diet Coke? I'm not advocating the guzzling of Diet Coke, I just don't think that these things can all be lumped in the same category.
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#15 of 97 Old 09-11-2007, 06:11 PM
 
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Smoking's a tough one... it's a real addiction for a lot of people. Apparently nicotine is even more physically addictive than heroin... and if you've ever been a smoker (I mean a real smoker, not just "I have one once in a while") and tried to quit you know. I am an ex-smoker, as is DH. His dad smoked in the house all through his childhood and all three boys have varying degrees of asthma. I have a friend who quit smoking during her pregnancy and now that the baby's here, smokes all the time right in front of her. What was the point of quitting during pregnancy? I feel like she's doing just as much damage. How hard is it to step outside and smoke there?

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.

I don't believe the "it's more stressful to quit than to keep smoking" excuse... can OB's really be saying that??!!
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#16 of 97 Old 09-11-2007, 06:24 PM
 
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Crazy. Absolutely crazy. It's not fair to hurt someone else bc you have an addiction and "stress."
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#17 of 97 Old 09-11-2007, 06:27 PM
 
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My friend told me she knows someone who smoked through her pregnancy because she wanted a low birthweight baby. She thought it would make her labor easier.

I also know someone who's doctor told her she shouldn't quit smoking because the withdrawal would be too hard for the baby.

And my cousin spent 3 years ttc and even took fertility drugs, yet she waited until after she got pregnant to gradually wean herself from smoking.

During the childbirth class that I took when pregnant with ds, the teacher brought in a placenta that she had gotten from a birth the previous evening (she was the midwife's assistant and the mother gave her permission to take the placenta). The mother smoked during her pregnancy, and you could see where the placenta was starting to calcify and turn black.

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#18 of 97 Old 09-11-2007, 06:31 PM
 
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It's true some doctors tell pg women that. My aunt said he had told her it would be too stressful to quit. What's more harmful to an unborn baby...smoking or the "stress of quitting", I'd say smoking. It wasn't even stressful for me when I quit cold turkey, it was easy because I knew it would be better for the babe.

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#19 of 97 Old 09-11-2007, 08:35 PM
 
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i smoked heavily until i found out was pregnant and took a month or two to wean myself off completely, until i was just taking drags of other people's cigarettes. I got to the point where i 1. felt like i was intentionally polluting my child and 2. wanted to vomit every time i came in contact with smoke, which is still where i'm at today.

i've heard women say their doctors tell them not to quit, but to cut back, and my cousin, for example, is pregnant with her fourth and smokes like a freaking chimney.

i don't really understand it either. i still get wicked cravings for cigarettes, and can't watch other people smoke, but it just seems so selfish to continue with an unwilling participant inside of me.
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#20 of 97 Old 09-11-2007, 08:36 PM
 
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I'm not a smoker (never smoked a ciggy in my life actually) but I had a friend who, according to her, in spite of her best efforts, she could not quit smoking...even if she was risking the health of her baby.:
Thankfully her baby did not have any problems (as far as we know of)...but still...to me thats taking a risk as well as many other things expectant moms do

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#21 of 97 Old 09-11-2007, 09:01 PM
 
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I smoked during my first pregnancy. I don't think there's really any excuse, but if you want me to try to offer an explaination, it probably had a lot to do with being very young and just not knowing how bad it was (of course I knew it wasn't GOOD, but I didn't bother to read about it and didn't realize just how bad it can be). My OB did tell me to try to cut down but not stress myself out, which I think is half doctor trying to be nice and for me, probably because I was on medications for depression that I couldn't take while pregnant and maybe he thought going off that and quitting would be too much? I really don't know. I went from smoking a pack a day to 5-10. I honestly didn't think much about it at the time. Everyone I knew who smoked smoked while pregnant and half the people in my family smoked, my "father" smoked around us all the time so I guess I was desensitized. When I got a little older and matured some (not saying all teen moms are immature, but I was) and cared more about health, and I realized what kind of danger I had put my daughter in, and I was (and still am) devastated and ashamed of what I did. Thankfully I had sense enough not to smoke in the house after she was born at least. I thank God all the time that my now 6 year old daughter doesn't appear to have been harmed by my stupidity.

I quit as soon as I found out with my second one, but I had actually quit for around 4 months beforehand and had just recently started smoking when I found out. This time, I had quit for about 2.5 years but had started smoking some at work. I quit as soon as I found out. I think it was easier this time because not only was I not smoking much (or regularly), plus I know now how horrible it is on developing babies.

I'm hoping I just don't start back up again. It's a nasty, stupid habit and I hate it.
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#22 of 97 Old 09-11-2007, 09:12 PM
 
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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.

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#23 of 97 Old 09-11-2007, 09:13 PM
 
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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.
This is very true. I made a very bad decision but I absolutely loved my daughter, just as much as anyone else.
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#24 of 97 Old 09-11-2007, 10:19 PM
 
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My cousin is smoking she is due in 4/08. I keep telling her to quit or at least cut back as much as possible. I also tell her the risks but she is 17 and she just doesn't get it. We have a history of lung problems in our family and it worries me she is putting her baby at risk. There are also people enabling her by buying them for her which is just as worrisome.

I just keep praying she will quit soon!!

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#25 of 97 Old 09-11-2007, 11:48 PM
 
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I've never smoked, but my mother did. When she was trying and trying to get pregnant, they finally told her she needed to cut down the cigarettes to get (and stay) pregnant... she was apparently conceiving, but then having very early m/cs.

Then they told her not to gain "too much" weight (the standard rec back then was 15 pounds, but since she was a few pounds heavier than ideal to begin with, they told her 10) and to sit around the house with her feet up for the first five months. Oh, and don't smoke. Yeah, right. You can have two out of the three. She cut back on cigarettes (from 4-5 packs a day pre-pregnancy) and only gained 11 pounds.

I was 6 pounds, 3 oz. at birth, born six days after my due date. My heart rate was 90 when I was born. I was ok after a while; I also had jaundice (mom was Rh-, I'm Rh+).

My mom finally quit when I was 8, after 31 years of smoking (her sisters got her started when she was 7). It was the hardest thing I've ever seen anyone do. I always hated the cigarettes, so I was glad she did it, but it took regression hypnosis for her to even remember a time when she didn't smoke, or how she started.

Years later, after a long history of depression beginning in childhood, I finally found an antidepressant that worked for me: Wellbutrin. Funny thing is, it's *also* used as a stop-smoking aid, because it acts on dopamine in the brain in the same way as nicotine. Then shortly after this discovery, I read a study that found that adult female children of smoking moms who smoked during pregnancy and early childhood have higher rates of depression, anxiety, and have memory problems (I don't have the latter, it seems... I've always had a great memory, though it was better before I tried Prozac!). Apparently, if the brain forms with nicotine in it, then it doesn't develop the same way as if it didn't... and it never unlearns how to balance things properly.

Granted, there are a lot of other factors that contribute to my depression ;-) and I've been meds-free for almost three years now, with talk therapy. I'm also shorter than my mom, who is only 5"4', and her sisters are taller than she is. Even though I never had asthma, bronchitis, or any of that stuff, I do believe that my mom's smoking affected me PROFOUNDLY. And while yeah, stress hormones aren't particularly good for the developing baby, they do not affect growth and development in nearly as many ways as cigarettes do. Heck, even just switching to gum or patches would be better, for not getting all the other pollutants into the mom's system.

But yeah, quitting is a very hard thing. I'm glad so many of you found pregnancy to be the ultimate motivator.
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#26 of 97 Old 09-12-2007, 09:41 AM
 
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My mom smoked all during her pregnancies with me and my little sister. She told me how she even lit up during labor as she was stressed and needed a nicotine fix. They let her right in the hospital room! My sister and I have never had any problems that we know of so far. No asthma, no allergies when we kids, no vision problems and we were healthy weights. The only thing I can think of is that we were both in the 7 lb range but I know we both were really late (about 3 weeks overdue) so it's likely we would have be somewhat underweight had we been born near our due dates.

I hate when doctors tell their patients that the "stress" of quiting would override the benefits. Ridiculous!

My mother went through open-heart surgery this past Feb. and the doc told her the same thing. Nevermind that it was the smoking for forty decades that got her into the mess in the first place. Smoking constricts your blood vessels making them easier to clog, it affects your breathing and oxygen intake and made her a risk to operate on b/c of clotting issues. She had a few cigs before she went into the operation but hasn't picked up one since. She knows now that too much is at stake. Often, people have to be faced with losing something to make difficult changes like this. All the hoopla in the world is not going to change their minds unless they have a true ephiphany within themselves.

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#27 of 97 Old 09-12-2007, 10:28 AM
 
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How hard is it to step outside and smoke there?
Yeah -- so that your neighbours can enjoy the smoke instead.

We just moved back to the area where I grew up, and I had forgotten how prevalent smoking is here. We're in townhouses, and there is another row facing us, fairly close. People sit out on their steps at all times of the day, smoking, and it stinks up our whole house when we have the windows open.

The people directly across from us have small children, both parents smoke, and my kids' bedroom is on that side of the house. It gets horrible in their room when the neighbours are out there smoking if we don't shut the window (which, in hot, humid weather is the last thing I want to do once the air outside is cooler than the air inside). I wonder if their kids are sleeping upstairs and getting even more smoke in their rooms than we are, since they're smoking right under their upstairs windows....

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#28 of 97 Old 09-12-2007, 11:29 AM
 
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Ive known 4 people who smoked throughout their pregnancies and every single one had a baby with complications(low, low birthweight, breathing issues, etc). One even had a preemie who didnt make it. Of course it's possible the smoking didn't cause these issues, but why not give your baby the best odds possible.

Mother of 3, welcomed a new baby girl July 2011

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#29 of 97 Old 09-12-2007, 11:38 AM
 
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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.
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#30 of 97 Old 09-12-2007, 12:44 PM
 
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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 ! My breakfast before I was pregnant was a coffee and a cigarette :Puke and I quit. I had headaches and was pretty cranky with dh for a few weeks but it was worth it. So I have a really hard time with people who say it's too hard to quit because it's really not just about you anymore. I'm sorry if I offend anyone it's just my opinion.
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