Monday, July 18, 2011

Smoking?

I know that this has been a constant source of warnings for so many years but there are still smokers out there and often these women are already in an increased risk group for pregnancy complications. If you want to stop smoking, there is no better time. You are helping to insure a better life for your baby by increasing the likelihood of better health and longer life for your child and also the likelihood that your family will have you around!!

Miscarriages are shown to increase with maternal and paternal smoking. Fetuses exposed to tobacco use have a lower birth weight and increased risk of prematurity. There are countless studies that examine the risks of ADHD and smoke exposure.These children are shown more prone to respiratory problems such as bronchial asthma. There is a greater risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome ( SIDS ).

Nicotine and Cotinine ( a biological marker for secondhand smoke exposure ) is found in higher concentrations in lungs of children who die of SIDS. Secondhand smoke is responsible for more respiratory tract infections. So even if you don't smoke yourself, while pregnant, just exposure to the smoke from a person who smokes around you is dangerous. Even the risk for cardiovascular disease is found to be higher with secondhand smoke exposure.

Take advantage of the natural deterrents to smoking behaviors that Mother Nature provides you with: nausea, smell aversions and that bad taste that you already have in your mouth. Sucking candy and chewing gum are useful in early pregnancy for more than those early symptoms; they work well for that oral fixation people who are stopping smoking complain about.

If the visual of your baby developing with a smoker's cough isn't vivid enough, try imagining the smokey smell of of your newborn baby as you cradle that infant in your arms. Meditation isn't just for labor, there is good evidence that it is helpful for smoking cessation too. Stay away from smokers and the places they gather. Substitute the urge for smoking with another behavior. Try a rubber band on your wrist and give it a painful pop every time you have that feeling. Take a plastic straw and cut it down to the size of a cigarette. Take an inhale through it. The oxygen "rush" you experience isn't all that different from the feeling smokers report from a cigarette.

It isn't easy to give up any habit or addiction. But there is no better time than now and no greater incentive. Parenting is about responsibility: don't smoke.