Pregnant? It's Time to Stop Smoking

Congratulations on your pregnancy! If you smoke, or another member of your household does, this is a perfect time to quit.

Smoking harms both you and your baby. The good news is that many women find it easier to quit when they are pregnant. If you plan now to make this a lifelong change, it will greatly benefit your health and the health of your baby.

A woman who doesn't smoke while she is pregnant has less chance of:

If you have any problems along the way, we encourage you to ask for help. Check out the programs below.

Secondhand Smoke

This is an important time to ask people not to smoke around you. During your pregnancy, stay away from any secondhand smoke in your home or public areas.

If there are people in your household who smoke, ask them to smoke outside. Or, even better, encourage them to quit. Secondhand smoke can cause health risks for you and your family.

Make a Plan to Quit

Developing a plan is one of the most important things you can do to quit smoking. Here are some steps to get you started.

Consider the following in making your plan:

Don't try to quit around stressful times, such as holidays. On your quit date, get rid of all cigarettes, ashtrays, lighters, and matches. Wash your clothes to get rid of the smoke smell. Don't let others smoke in your home

Let your friends and family know how they can support your decision to quit smoking. If they smoke, ask them not to smoke around you. Consider changing your routine to help prevent cravings. For example, if you always smoke after drinking coffee, try brushing your teeth after drinking your last cup.

Create Your Plan to Quit

To create a plan to quit smoking, you can use this Action Plan form (PDF) or create one of your own.

Tips for making a plan

Using your plan

Remember to keep your goals realistic. Start by taking small steps toward your goal. If you feel stuck or are having a hard time, ask a friend, family member, or your doctor for help.

Managing Withdrawal Symptoms

You may have withdrawal symptoms when you quit. Symptoms can include cravings for cigarettes, nervousness, irritability, and weight gain.

Most withdrawal symptoms last less than 3 weeks. If you experience these symptoms, keep in mind that they mean that your body is getting healthy again.

It may take more than one try to quit for good. If you stopped smoking for even a little while, give yourself credit. Each time you quit, you have a better chance of quitting forever. And remember, it's OK to ask for help more than once.

Clinical review by Paula Lozano, MD
Group Health
Reviewed 03/01/2014