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Stop Smoking While Pregnant

It’s important to realize that quitting provides immediate benefits. No matter where you are in your pregnancy, both you and your baby will benefit if you quit. Your body starts to benefit from quitting within minutes.

After about twenty minutes, your heart rate and blood pressure drop to normal levels, which is helpful to you and your baby.

In about twelve hours, the level of carbon monoxide in your bloodstream will drop. This allows the amount of oxygen in your bloodstream to increase, directly benefiting your baby by providing increased oxygen.

Within a day, the risk of a heart attack starts to drop. That risk level is almost double for smokers over non-smokers, and getting through your first day without a cigarette starts the repair process in your body, resulting in a reduced level of risk to you and your baby.

After two or three days, the nerve endings in your tongue and nostrils start rebuilding. This results in an improved sense of taste and smell which will continue to improve over the coming days. Foods will taste better and you’ll notice that aromas seem to be more powerful.

In three days the nicotine from smoking will be flushed out of your system. This may cause the withdrawal symptoms such as headaches or nausea to peak at this point. Take comfort that those symptoms will be reduced in the coming days as you continue to resist the temptation to smoke.

Two to three weeks after you quit you’ll be able to breathe easier, and simple things like walking from your car to a store will take less effort. This is a result of improved lung function as your lungs have started to heal themselves.

The benefits continue to build for years after you quit smoking. Eventually your body will no longer suffer from any ill effects of smoking and your risk of heart disease or cancer will be reduced to the same level as a non-smoker.

Of course, if you’re trying to quit smoking while you’re pregnant, your options for aids and medications to help you quit are reduced. Many of the quit smoking aids carry specific warnings about use during pregnancy or while nursing. Among the risks are reduced fetal weight and increased auditory startle response. In animal studies, reduced fertility of the offspring has been observed with some of the medical treatments that are available.

While nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products may not carry warnings about use during pregnancy, it is important to recognize that nicotine causes elevated heart rate and blood pressure in the mother and an elevated heart rate of the fetus. It doesn’t make any difference whether the nicotine comes from an NRT product or from cigarettes – the effect is the same.

So most women who are pregnant and wanting to quit smoking come to the conclusion, either on their own or with the advice of their doctor, that using medications like Chantix or Zyban is simply not an option. There are specific warnings about using these medications during pregnancy that apply to both the mother and the baby.