Pregnant and Smokin’ (Not in a Good Way)

Pregnant and Smokin’ (Not in a Good Way) Picture

Are you smoking while pregnant? Unfortunately, I'm not talking about how gorgeous you look with that baby belly. I'm talking about cigarettes.

There are some things I never considered while pregnant. Smoking was one of them. However, that was an easy choice. I wasn't a smoker before I became pregnant. My vice? Coffee. Did I give up my beloved cup of java while preggo? Absolutely not. I did try to cut back a little, but I wasn't going cold turkey and giving it up.

It's with my caffeine addiction that I can kind of understand why it was that recently I saw what looked like a mama-to-be lighting up and smoking a cigarette. As I drove by, I couldn't help but gawk. I wonder if she felt the power of my stare or heard my outburst of "What the…?!" as she put that cigarette up to her mouth. As it was, my windows were up and I was running late. There wasn't time for confrontation and even if there was, would I have stopped and asked about her choice? What would you have done?

Smoking cigarettes while preggo. Would you ever consider it? Recently, I rambled about having a drink or twoIs smoking any different?

The fact is that the impact of smoking while pregnant has been well researched. Need good reason to kick the habit now? Check out these facts from the March of Dimes:

When you smoke during pregnancy, so does your baby.  Chemicals like nicotine, carbon monoxide and tar decrease the amount of oxygen that your baby gets which, of course, is vital for healthy growth and development. Smoking may also damage an unborn baby's lungs.

Need more reasons to quit? Women who smoke during pregnancy are more likely to have:

Babies born to smokers are more likely to be born:

  • With birth defects
  • Premature
  • At low birthweight
  • Underweight for the number of weeks of pregnancy

The above is what I wanted to shout out my windows to the pregnant lady who lit up.

I get addiction. I love my coffee. I love my child more.

What about you? Hoping the only smokin' you are doing these days is looking and feeling good while pregnant!

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Pregnant and Smokin’ (Not in a Good Way)

Jeannie Fleming-Gifford is a mama to one little lady, freelance writer, and the director of education for a non-profit community school of the arts. Graduating with a B.A. in Music and a M.A. in Child Development, Jeannie began her career in quality child development programs as a teacher, then moved into creative administrative roles with science centers, symphony orchestras and arts programs. Owner of 170+ year old house, Jeannie loves living in small town America where walks to the park and ... More

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10 comments

  1. JM says:

    Excuses, excuses! I quit smoking the second I found out I was pregnant so you can do it if you truly want to! My friend smoked throughout her pregnancy and it drove me nuts because she continuously tried to justify it by saying things like “I’m going to quit but I read a study that says smoking isn’t harmful to the baby in the first few weeks” and “My doctor says that quitting cold turkey can cause stress to the baby so I’m going to wean myself off”…needless to say, 3 months later, she was still “weaning” herself off cigarettes. Second trimester came and her new excuse was “My doctor says 1-3 cigarettes per day won’t harm the baby” which I’m positive was a crock because I don’t know of any doctor out there that would support smoking during pregnancy, no matter how small. The bottom line is that it’s a proven fact that your putting your unborn baby at risk if you smoke AT ALL during pregnancy and just because your baby came out fine does not mean that it’s safe…your baby just got lucky. You CAN stop smoking if you truly try, so if you smoke while pregnant, you’re selfishly putting your own pleasure over your baby’s health, END OF STORY!

  2. Dee Dee says:

    With all due respect, please allow me to set your judgmental butt straight on a few things. First of all, caffeine is the leading cause of miscarriage in the first trimester according to my OB. So how are you ANY better than a smoker? Secondly, it’s very interesting to me that you’re so willing to judge smokers while you sucked down the caffeine, knowing what addictions are hard to break. Thirdly, I smoked during my pregnancy at the advice of my OB. Not everyone is like you who obviously gets along just fine – so long as you have your caffeine, that is. But I have a medical condition called narcolepsy. Taking my prescribed amphetamines was a big no-no during pregnancy, and it was ultimately decided that a limited amount of caffeine a cigarettes were a better alternative. I had to work to make a living. Not all of us can sit at home on our butts writing blogs for a living. ANd you don’t think that I knew people were thinking the exact same thing as you when I went to the gas station? It stinks that you lump EVERYONE who smokes into some category. I’m not an addicted smoker. I can go a week without a cigarette without giving it a thought – until I get tired. In which case, it is the best alternative to taking heavy doses of amphetamine. So perhaps before you decide to judge every woman on this earth, maybe you should take a hard look in the mirror and realize unless you’re walking in their shoes, maybe you should just worry about yourself more and a little less about others. Thanks. Oh and by the way, my son turned out fine – happy and healthy. 😉

  3. rebecca says:

    I commend those who have been able to completely quit. Prior to conceiving my 5 year old, i used to smoke cigs and meth. I quit meth, but could not quit the cigs. When i got preggo with my 19 month old, I quit cigs, all but what i needed to make myself have bowel movements (sounds weird i know). I didn’t touch a cig for the 7 months i nursed this last time (couldn’t nurse my first baby), but have started smoking again. Sometimes it is harder for people to stop smoking because it is keeping them from something darker. We are trying. We are working on it. We are making progress. Cheer us on… don’t badger us or make us feel bad for being human. My boys were late heffers!

  4. sarah says:

    if you want to quit you can quit. i quit and never went back. it’s the health and safety of your unborn baby. they can’t try to walk away to breathe. you are poisoning them if you are smoking.

  5. Hope says:

    I’m glad you put this comment up. I have struggled with quitting smoking also and I have a little over 2 weeks left of my pregnancy. My baby is well above the average for her fetus age and I have had an overall healthy pregnancy. I have tried multiple times to quit completely, but unfortunately I have only been able to cut down to 1-3 cigs a day. I still want to quit and hope that I can because I plan on breastfeeding. I either ignore people who say things to me or I explain to them that because I was such a heavy smoker before I was pregnant (and didn’t have time to quit before conceived) it is better for me to have cut back the amount I have then go through the withdrawal of quitting completely. I’m hoping I can quit completely before she is born. I will not let anyone smoke around her once she is. Which will help me also quit.

  6. Mary says:

    I had two addictions before I got pregnant: Smoking and Coffee. I smoked before I was pregnant, but quit cold turkey as soon as I knew I was pregnant. I saw it like this: My body wasn’t just mine anymore. Before I was only hurting myself. Once pregnant, I had someone else to think about. Someone who couldn’t get away from it and got everything he needed to grow and be healthy from me. Knowing that, I couldn’t justify smoking. At all. It can be done. It does suck for the first couple of days, but is so worth it. Oh and I followed the docs recommended limits on my coffee consumption.

  7. Amanda says:

    I’m not a smoker, but my husband was. When we found out we were having a baby, he quit. Just like that, cold turkey. For years he said he would try, but there was always a reason that he "wasn’t ready yet". I am so proud of him for putting our daughter first. It wasn’t easy for him (or for me to be around him) but he did it. He just needed the right motivation.

  8. jhodge1024 says:

    As a smoker, I feel I must comment here, though usually I keep my opinions to myself. I smoked during my pregnancy. Did I want to? No. Did I try to quit? Absolutely, with advice from my doctors. Didn’t work. Sometimes breaking an addiction isn’t just mind over matter. There’s a lot that goes into it, and there’s really two addictions to contend with, a physical and a psychological. I give mad props to the people who did quit, but try though I might, I couldn’t do it. Yes, my daughter was premature, although I’ve yet to read anything saying smoking will cause your water to break early. My induction went well, she was out of the NICU in a week. I wish I could have quit, and I’m still trying, but it’s REALLY hard…please, don’t hate on people who haven’t managed it yet.

  9. Joane says:

    I was a smoker all the way until the day I found out I was pregnant, I see addiction as a weakness of the mind… why?… I had tried countless of times in countless ways to quit smoking way before I was pregnant. All it took for me to quit was that pee stick giving me a positive, I have not looked back, I have not craved it, I have not smoked… why? Because all I can think of is the safety of my child, she will ALWAYS come first than my needs and I think that sadly, it is something that some women fail to see and understand, your child’s safety always comes first, and something so harmful as nicotine… I just dont understand how they can be so selfish.

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