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Quitting smoking during pregnancy


Pregnancy is a wonderful phase in a woman’s life. That is true but it also calls for some lifestyle changes in order to ensure that you and your unborn child have a safe and healthy pregnancy phase. Among the many lifestyle changes that you should adopt during your pregnancy is quitting smoking if you have been an ardent or even an occasional smoker. That sounds quite easy but pregnancy can play havoc with your hormones and cravings become a commonplace. In this regard, giving up smoking might be the best thing that you can do for your baby but it is also the most difficult. The sudden, powerful urges to light up again might seem too difficult to handle. Let us here discuss what causes these cravings and how you can deal with them.

What causes the cigarette cravings?

Quitting smoking is difficult for regular people and for pregnant women; things get a little more aggravated. The cravings to light up a cigarette may be quite strong but it is important to be stronger and win over those pangs of desire to hold your cigarette. Cravings basically arise from your mind hence they are stronger than you can imagine. The rush of nicotine in your blood instantly hits your brain and acts like any other addictive drug. These cravings can basically kick in whenever your brain notices a shortfall of the drug. Sometimes, you may use the nicotine patches or gums to kill those cravings but the cravings will get stronger if you visit a place that your frequently use for lighting up or if you get a whiff of cigarette smell.

How long do these cravings last?

Cravings for smoking are often strong and they come in at those times when you would regularly light up. But though these cravings are tough, they are also quite fleeting. In order to get over these cravings, it is important to stay strong the first time around. Once the cravings pass by for the first time, it will be comes easier the next time.

The cravings are usually the strongest in the initial 3 to 5 days after you quit. They stay strong for a couple of weeks and then gradually start to subside. However, when you get close to the cigarette smell or smoke, your brain will signal again for the need of nicotine so getting completely clear of your cravings will take some time, at most a year.

How to beat the cravings?

This is actually a little game that you play with your mind. When a craving hits you and you recognize it, move your mind to focus on something else. Start believing that you don’t need anything to satisfy your cigarette craving. Imagine holding your unborn child and loving him. Start rehearsing being a new mom. This will motivate you to stay strong against your cravings.

What should you do if you are unable to resist the cravings?

If your cravings are too strong and you are unable to resist even for five minutes, talk to your doctor about the options you can try. Nicotine patches and shots can help you a little. But are shots safe for you? Some types of nicotine replacements are stronger which means they give you more nicotine than your cigarettes. This can be more harmful so make sure to discuss with your doctor before you try anything. This nicotine might be safer than the toxic brew from the cigarettes; it can still be very harmful for your baby.

No matter how strong your craving is, it will pass. But make sure of one thing – don’t light up again!

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