You’ve quit smoking because you’re pregnant. At first, not smoking may be new and exciting. It’s the best sort of change. People will congratulate you. You have a right to be proud, so enjoy it. But then what? How do you stay smoke-free when life goes back to normal? Plan ahead to fight temptation. Be aware of signs that warn of a slip.
Get busy and build on your early success. List the benefits of staying smoke-free. Your list, like your life, will change. You’re finding out who you are as a nonsmoker. Remember how smoking can affect your baby. Then ask yourself, “Which is more important — smoking, or my baby?”
After you quit, you still need to think about avoiding secondhand smoke. Help yourself succeed by making your home smoke-free:
Ask your spouse, partner, or roommate to smoke outside.
Tell your friends and family you’ve quit. Let them know your home is now smoke-free and you’d like them to honor your decision.
Also tell them that you appreciate their help. Because they keep smoke out of your home, your baby stays healthy and you stay smoke-free.
You will be tempted. Tough times are still ahead. Get ready to resist your urge to smoke. You know the triggers: car trips, holidays, and seeing friends who still smoke. The tips below can help you resist:
Talk to your baby.
Make your home a “smoke-free zone.”
Make a list of all you can smell, taste, and do better since you quit smoking.
Pack a survival kit to take in the car.
When you eat out, go to smoke-free restaurants.
Ever daydream about smoking, or go to risky places, like lunch with a group of smokers? These could be warning signs that you’re headed for a slip. If you feel tempted to smoke, ask yourself when and why you feel this way.
Keep yourself from feeling too Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired:
Hungry? Fix yourself a healthy snack.
Angry? Try some slow, deep breathing.
Lonely? Visit a nonsmoking friend.
Tired? Kick off your shoes, take a nap.
If you do slip, it doesn’t mean you’re not quitting. Whether you sneak a smoke or boldly inhale, tell yourself you’re no longer a smoker. A slip is not a relapse. Don’t let all your hard work so far be lost. Find out why you lit up. Then make a new plan to help yourself be stronger.
A slip can be useful. If you’re honest, the slip might tell you something. Do your best to answer these questions:
How did the cigarette taste?
How did your hands smell after you smoked?
What did you learn about being tempted?
Have you found a new trigger?
What can you do to avoid slips in the future?
Here are some resources to help you stay smoke-free:
National Cancer Institute Smoking Quitline: 877-44U-QUIT (877-448-7848)