I am trying to quit smoking, and I just found out I am pregnant with number 2... Is it bad to quit cold turkey?

Allie - posted on 05/11/2010 ( 115 moms have responded )

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I have been smoking since I was 15 and it is going to be difficult to quit but a friend of mine told me that you shouldn't quit cold turkey when you're pregnant... I don't know whether or not that is true but I thought I could just quit. I didn't end up quitting for my first child untill the last 3 months of my pregnancy, and I quit 3 months afterwards too.... I don't know why I picked it back up, but I would like to quit again.

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Kristen - posted on 05/11/2010

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Please read the following article from babycenter.com written by an expert.

I'm pregnant. Can quitting smoking cold turkey hurt me or my baby?


Expert Answers
Sharon Cummins, psychologist
Not only is quitting cold turkey safe, it's one of the best things you can do for yourself and your baby while you're pregnant. As soon as you give up your cigarettes, your baby will start getting more oxygen, and the risk of miscarriage, premature birth, and other complications will drop.

Quitting cold turkey can be difficult, especially if you're a heavy smoker. As your body adjusts to life without nicotine, you'll probably feel restless and irritable. The good news is that your baby won't share in the misery. There's no evidence that babies go through nicotine withdrawal, and they certainly won't miss a daily dose of tar and carbon monoxide. Besides, your withdrawal symptoms will fade in two or three weeks, and then you can finally stop thinking about cigarettes and start thinking about getting the baby's room ready.

For most women, the only risk to the cold-turkey approach is that it might not work. (Heavy smokers at high risk for seizures are the exception. For them, quitting abruptly could potentially cause a seizure.) If you're smoking a couple of packs a day, you may need to take a more gradual approach to quitting. Cut down to a pack a day, then to a half of a pack. The ultimate goal, of course, is to get to zero — and the sooner the better. If you still can't fight those cravings, ask your doctor for help. Quitting may be hard, but a healthy pregnancy is worth the effort.

Lyndsay - posted on 05/11/2010

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Your body is dependent on the nicotine at this point, and so is your unborn baby. If you quit cold-turkey you can send the fetus into shock, the sudden absence of the nicotine will effect him/her much more than it will you. Doctors suggest that you slowly wean yourself off.

Patricia - posted on 05/14/2010

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I quit cold turkey as soon as I found out I was pregnant. Though I did have times when I really craved a cigarette, the thought of causing harm to my child was enough for me to resist the urge. My son is now almost 7 months old and I still haven't touched a cigarette. He is all the motivation I need.

Ashley - posted on 05/13/2010

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I SMOKED BEFORE MY PREGNANCY AND WHEN I FOUND OUT I QUIT IN 2 WEEKS. JUST TRY GOING FROM SO MANY WHOLE CIGARETTES IN A DAY AND ONLY SMOKE HALFS. THEN THE NEXT DAY CUT IT DOWN A HALF AND THEN NEXT AND SO ON AND SO FORTH. IT WORKED FOR ME. I GUESS ALL YOU CAN DO IS TRY.

Jessie - posted on 05/15/2010

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Ok look this up on the internet and ask your doctor but most of the information I have come across says that it will NOT harm your baby. You may feel lousy but that is to be expected. Some pages said that quitting cold turkey is best b/c your baby will receive more oxygen that way. I am not a doctor so I can't say for sure, but my mother quit cold turkey with my brother and there were never any problems, and many I know that quit cold turkey never had any problems. I think it is really a personal decision but my feelings on it is that your baby is getting harm from the cigarettes so stop as soon as possible. You already stated you want to though and it's all about how so good luck and I know you can do this!

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115 Comments

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Breanna - posted on 05/15/2010

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i quit cold around my 2nd month is took a week for me to really get it through my head that i was pregnant and it wasnt right for me to smoke while pregnant. it was trying at 1st but unless you smoke like 4 packs a day i dont see why it sould be a problem. its mainly getting those chemicals out of your body that takes time and if you smoke alot then it would be like when any addict quits, harder and unhealthy but if youve quit before then you know how it is lol just do it you kno you can!!!!!!! :-)'

Leanna - posted on 05/15/2010

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It really depends on how much you are smoking a day, if you are smoking more than a pack a day you need to slowly cut back and then quit, the shock that your body goes through could cause you to have seizures (pregnant or not) my mom just quit, she wasnt pregnant but she tried cold turkey a week later she had a seizure, doc said that it was caused from quiting cold turkey, seizures can harm an unborn baby, however if you smoke around a half pack a day then quiting cold turkey is the best thing you can do, it wont cause seizures and no harm will be done to your baby, so really it all depends on how much you smoke

Sarah - posted on 05/15/2010

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I have had 4 pregnancys 2 that i quit cold turkey which ended in still born babies at 5 months and 2 health others that i did not quit with one born at 7 lbs and 15 os another at 10lbs 5ozs completely healthy so i think that a smoking aid or cutting down would be best

Rose - posted on 05/15/2010

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i quit cold turkey with no side effects best thing i ever did i feel so much better. I quit cause i was prego. Some doctors will say that it could be bad and to just cut back. I would talk to your doctor and see what they think!

Stephanie - posted on 05/15/2010

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i quit cold turkey when i found out i was pregnant with my first and i haven't touched one since. you can it just think of your baby's :)

[deleted account]

You should absolutely quit cold turkey. I would think that smoking would be much more harmful than quitting cold turkey.

Jessica - posted on 05/15/2010

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Everything I have read says the sooner you quit the better it is for the baby.

[deleted account]

iv ben tld by d doc not 2 quit cold turkey, cuz d baby has already got d effects of nicotine n es body. so e wud b goin true withdrawal also. so cut bk gradually so both of u can cope wiv it!!! im stil tryin, ive cut dwn 2 at least one a day nd i used 2 smoke 20 a day. im now 4mths wiv my 2second child also. nd i dnt crave dem dat much at al anymo. bu i neva quit wiv my 1st.

Cathy - posted on 05/15/2010

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i agree with the other mum to quit slowly then alltogether if you can and want to.

Tina - posted on 05/15/2010

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I set a "quit date" two months away and I stuck to it. I focused on that and by the time the dats came I was ready to quit. I have never looked back. I did smoke when I was pregnant and my children have suffered no ill effects from that, but I didn't enjoy doing it. I was used to using smokeing as an emotional habit and it was very difficult to quit back then with stress and my baby's father not helping at all. But I did eventually quit, and I did it cold turkey almost a year and a half ago. Doctors can also be great help if cold turkey doesn't work for you.

Lisa - posted on 05/14/2010

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Everyone I know that smokes, quit cold turkey the second they found out that they were pregnant. Their babies are perfect!

Smoking is harmful to your baby, we all know this. QUIT COLD TURKEY NOW!!!

Tracy - posted on 05/14/2010

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Hi there,
I quit cold turkey the day I found out I was pregnant - I smoked for 9 years. I was fine, my baby was fine. I delivered a healthy 9 lb 4 oz boy. It was hard, but definately worth it! I had to remind myself everytime I wanted a cigarette ( which really wasn't too often as I had "morning sickness" all throughout the day for the first 4 1/2 mths ) why I was quitting and that there wasn't a choice in the matter. I quit smoking March 17th 2008 and don't miss it :) It will get easier too, so don't just focus on the hard part, think about how good you'll feel for quitting, emotionally and healthwise.

Caylyn - posted on 05/14/2010

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My daughter is fine and i quit cold turkey when i got prego. You can do it :) I just quit for the 2nd time :) Feel so much better :)

Melanie - posted on 05/14/2010

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Your baby will also experience withdrawal symptoms but that also depends how far along you are. I think if you are early enough into your pregnancy 7 weeks or so, you could without any worry. Why not take a different approach to it, like quit gradually. I found out I was pregnant and I quit within a week, by cutting back the cigaretts every day until eventually you are down to none. Good luck and I hope this helps

Holly Jo - posted on 05/14/2010

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Please stop smoking cold turkey. It is not bad to quit cold turkey. It is healthier than products like Nicorette. which is believed to be safer than smoking, but still has the nicotine and not good to use while pregnant or breastfeeding.
And Yes I do know this because I smoked 14 years. I quit cold turkey, the day I found out I was pregnant, a decision I made for myself and my family. I have been smoke free for 22 months. (and counting!) Good Luck with everything.

Mary - posted on 05/14/2010

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I think you should really talk to your doctor to see what they think, because i am a smoker and when i found out i was pregnant i was going to quit cold turkey and my doctor told me not to quit just to slow down until after i had the baby due to the affects and stess it could put on the baby...So please talk to your doctor first, they will know more than anyone even the internet.

Tanika - posted on 05/14/2010

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To be perfectly honest, its good to just quit naturally. Its about will power. You know its unheathy for the both of you. Ask your doc some healthy methods to wean off the cigs. Good Luck :)

Siobhan - posted on 05/14/2010

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i cut right down to the lightest cigs i could get then gave them up from there, it was a lot easier and no stress which i think is the concern for baby, also i didn't tell myself i was quitting i just kept saying i'll have one later

April - posted on 05/14/2010

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My doc had me make a step down plan. Like for this week I can smoke x amount of cigs per day, next week a step or two down, and so on.... he based if off of the amount I orginally smoked in a day. I was up to almost two packs a day =( It's better for you and baby to step down. The doc said i could have potentionally sent our baby into shock causing some sort of convulsion and consequently a misscarry (Which is what happened last time) if I just quit cold turkey. If you smoke 10 a day this week, go nine or 8 the next week. and just keep stepping down. Once morning sickness settles in and makes it a home... well I didn't even want to think of smoking.....

Crystal - posted on 05/14/2010

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With my first child who is 10 now i quit cold turkey a week after i found out that i was pregnant with him.. No problems with him and had a wonderful pregnancy... No problems at all... With this one baby #2 I quit cold turkey 2 days after I found out.. Still no problems.. Doctor told me that was the best thing I could of done for my baby cause all the things to help you quit has some other chemicals in them other then nicotine.. I still want a smoke but knowing that its best for the baby keeps me from picking it up again

Ashleigh - posted on 05/14/2010

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Also, What YOUR dr says, try to listen, not what other moms say, because sometimes they are not in your same situation, I know its hard and you want to do whats right, I get that. But do it safely and a way that you wont feel the need to run back to it, ALOT of drs say to wind it down, I have never heard the quite now or your baby will suffer tact, we all know its bad for you, we all know the dangers, I know that in time you will find a way that works best and be around people who support you!

Ashleigh - posted on 05/14/2010

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Alright, I have read some comments, and have felt that you are being judged.. Number 1 i dont give a rats ass what an article on the internet says, I know that it is VERY TRUE that if you quite cold turkey you can hurt the baby, so anyone who says different is dumb and dont know, You need to slow it down, also trying to do things instead of smoking like hate to say it but eat, fruit, veggie, fruit juice, some tea decaf coffee, go outside and do that for 3 or 5 min, taking over what you would normally do outside :) I know its hard... and it will take time, keep your dr informed, You can do it, but do it right :) Good luck

Angelica - posted on 05/14/2010

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I was told by my doctor that its bad to quit cold turkey he said its easier to cut down, cut back, then cut it out all together...but quiting cold turkey puts too much stress on you and the baby...im 5 months pregnant and ive cut back from a pack and a half a day to about 1-3 cigs a day...im almost there...eventually its really just mind over matter when ur down to the last few.

Rosa - posted on 05/14/2010

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I went thru this when I found out I was pregnant and the Dr. told me quit...quit now! The sooner the better!

Tanith - posted on 05/14/2010

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As soon as I found out I was pregnant (4 weeks) I quit cold turkey. The sooner you do it the better.

TeBeth - posted on 05/14/2010

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the best way is to go cold turkey. why would you want to put more toxins into your babys system? smoking while pregnant can cause low birth weight, ear infections, asthma, pph, still birth, sids, and many other serious risks. i found out i was pregnant and smoked my last cig and never touched it again. im responsible for my daughter well being now and her health is my #1 priority. research has shown that 2nd and 3rd hand smoke is even more dangerous than 1st hand. and i would never forgive myself knowing that i was making my child sick. its not worth it. i have been smoke free sice july9th 2009.

Mindy - posted on 05/14/2010

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No this is a myth. You can quit any time. I asked my doc this too because my friends would use that as an excuse. My doc said it is fine to quit cold turkey while pregnant. This was the best choice I had made when I was pregnant with my daughter. It was hard but I did it. She was born healthier than ever with perfect lungs and the loudest cry I have ever heard from an infant. The only thing I can see is the stress from quitting being bad on the baby. But there is always stress relievers.

Jordan Ashleigh - posted on 05/14/2010

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I quit cold turkey when I found out I was pregnant, but I was never a heavy smoker to begin with. A pack usually lasted the entire month for me, so it depends on your own situation. However, cutting back at all will make a significant difference in your baby's health, so do what you're comfortable with and stick with it.

Stephanie - posted on 05/14/2010

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I'm a medical assistant and from my studies it would be best for you to quit slowly and moderately but every person is different. Its best for you to discuss these things with your OBGYN.

Lisa - posted on 05/14/2010

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I smoked with my first pregnancy and with this one to. My daugther is sooooo healthy and this pregnancy is going so well. My baby is growing perfectly and there have been no problems with either pregnancy. If you want to quit go for it but talk to your doctor first

[deleted account]

i quit cold turkey with both of my preganancies. as soon as i found out i was pregnant i couldn't even desire a cigarette. of course i picked it back up after each one, so that sucks, i had never heard that it was harmful to quit cold turkey while pregnant, but my doctors told me i did a good job by quitting. i would suggest talking to your doctor, they would know you and your body best and be able to tell you the best solution. Honestly though i cant see how it would hurt, i think smoking while pregnant does more harm than quitting cold turkey. maybe if you were farther along it might be harmful.

Bethany - posted on 05/14/2010

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One of the things that has helped me quit smoking without the stress is the ecig. (It is not recommended as a stop smoking tool by the creators.) It has helped both of my sisters and myself quit. It's battery operated and looks like an ink pen. You put nicotine drops into it and can gradually buy lower dosages. Another reason I like it is because you can take just one breath. With a cigarette you will smoke it til it goes out. Also water vapor is the main ingredient so there is not any tar. A good place to start looking would be from www.ecig.com, www.njoy.com, www.totallywicked.com

Ramona - posted on 05/14/2010

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I do like what one mom said, that it's better to risk losing this baby through the stress of withdrawal and have quit so you can try again never having smoked. I also think that if you are going to quit, you should talk to your doctor about the best way to go about it. They probably will not recommend quitting cold turkey, they will probably recommend weaning yourself off of it. I truly wish that I had been able to quit my first trimester, but I was so scared to for my own sake and because I was scared of the stress that would put on my baby...I'm a recovering alcoholic in my first year of sobriety and they recommend you don't quit in your first year. That is the only reason my doctor told me to just cut down to 5 or under a day; I should have been more clear in my earlier posts. I really hope that you can quit ASAP, I really do. If you don't have extenuating circumstances like mine, you really need to get with your doctor about quitting. Don't let people telling you that you were "negligent" to not quit until the 6th month with your first baby make you feel guilty. Kudos to you for quitting at all! I'm in my 32nd week and I'm still struggling with it!!! I would have loved to quit when I found out but I just couldn't do it! I have had other mothers tell me they cut down to 10 a day when pregnant and I am doing much better than that at 3 a day, so I try not to kick myself for it! I do plan on really trying to quit when the baby comes because I plan on breastfeeding and I really don't want nicotine in my milk! Also, I will have over a year sober at that point (May 30this my year). I am expecting my baby to go through withdrawals (so most likely colicky) when I quit, but I would rather have a baby who cries a lot than a baby whose addicted to nicotine!! But I won't quit at this point because nicotine withdrawals have been known to cause preterm labor and I don't want to do that to my baby either. GOOD LUCK AND I KNOW YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!!!!!

Jennifer - posted on 05/14/2010

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It's not bad to quit cold turkey if you are in the first trimester. I quit the day I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. I had a handful of miscarriages before getting pregnant with Alana, and tried to wean myself off smoking, and I always lost the baby before i completely quit smoking. Im not trying to preach but the worst thing that could happen is a miscarriage, and smoking causes miscarriages so cold turkey seems like the most logical thing to do. Also, smoking causes SIDS, so picking it back up after the birth isnt a great idea either. I smoked for 8 years. I know its tough to quit. I wish you the very best!!!!

Jess - posted on 05/14/2010

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My doctor told me that quitting cold turkey is actually worse on the baby because the baby goes through withdrawl just like you. The only problem is it is harder on the baby than it is you.

Sara - posted on 05/14/2010

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Iam a smoker and found out that i was already 7 weeks pregnant,i quit as soon as i knew.I think it is better for your baby as well as yourself to put out the butt.
You never know what it can cause ,but that is my opinion.Iam sure that you agree and quiting is the answer .keep yourself busy and you will be fine .

Rachel - posted on 05/14/2010

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I quit cold turkey as soon as I found out I was pregnant. My husband quit that day too and I did crave them but not as bad as I thought I would. I tried to quit so many times in the past and couldnt give them up. When I found out I was pregnant, that was it! I havent touch them since and my daughter is 4 months old. Now the smell of them makes me sick! My husband hasnt smoked either. so I know you can do it! Its the best thing for your baby.

Kathy - posted on 05/14/2010

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I had looked at the other comments here, and I have to agree that yes you should quit smoking when your pregnant as it can cause harm to the growing baby inside the mothers womb. good luck with your pregnancy and I hope everything goes well for you.

Amy - posted on 05/14/2010

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I smoked for 14 years and quit cold turkey when I found out I was pregnant and everything was fine. Haven't wanted a cigarette since and my daughter is 3 months old. She's the best thing to happen to me for so many reasons!



edited to say the smell did make me nauseous which helped the quitting. The best way to quit for me is cold turkey, if I try to "cut back" I will easily justify having "just one more" here and there, and that turns into "one more pack". I actually had an opened pack of smokes in my car for a few months into my pregnancy that I kept as a safety net, but never used them! My bf threw them away finally cuz he tried one and they were horribly stale lol but he ended up quitting too because I don't want smoke to be around our daughter at all, even just the smell on your clothes or hands can be harmful to the baby so you need to be careful if you decide to keep smoking or pick it up again after she/he is born. Good luck!

Ramona - posted on 05/14/2010

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I am a lot like Emma in that I went from 20 a day to 3 a day! That's what my doctor and I determined was best for me. You and your doctor can determine what's best for you.

Ramona - posted on 05/14/2010

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Allie, it is NOT stupid to smoke during pregnancy depending on your circumstances. Don't let her make you feel guilty for doing so during your first pregnancy. The fact is that some women quit easier than others and have different life circumstances. I personally could not quit cold turkey, I was a pack a day smoker; I garantee you I would have gone into severe withdrawal, which non smokers would NOT know puts your body under a LOT of stress, quite frankly a lot more on your baby than cutting down drastically does. I would NOT recommend you quit cold turkey if you smoke a pack a day like I did. If I were you, I would talk to your doctor about how to quit smoking; it also REALLY helps if you have support in place; the father of my child not only has refused to quit but has made many excuses not to cut down and will even smoke right in front of me and act like I'm being unreasonable and silly when I ask him not to!!!!!!!! It is VERY HARD to quit smoking completely with no support system in place. I hope you have a good one. BEST OF LUCK!!!!!!!

Emma - posted on 05/14/2010

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Unless there are other factors involved then it always best to quit,

I went from a 40 a day smoker to 3 a day while pregnant i tried to quit but after consulting my doctor was told not to stress my self out doing it if i could stay on 3 a day it was better than 40, but there was a lot of contributing factors to that recommendation.



And my daughter was not under weight and never had colic or ever been ill apart from the odd cold in season

I had no complications during my pregnancy ether.



Im a little confused by the statement that your baby wont go through withdrawal, as it makes it sound like the baby is in fact not getting any of the nicotine ect

Lin - posted on 05/13/2010

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However you quit, just be sure to find a healthy and effective replacement for the nicotine for stress relief. Don't let the stress build up - that's just as bad for the baby.

Courtney - posted on 05/13/2010

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I am a smoker. I tried quiting multiple times when I was pregnant with my son. I was not successful. The time I did try to quit cold turkey at 25 weeks, I went into pre-term labor. My ob/gyn told me if I could not quick gradually, then try to smoke as little as you can. When I went into preterm labor, I was in the hospital for 4 days and they gave me the patch. That helped sooo much, but with a fiance that smokes in the house it was so hard not to start back up again. It takes 72 hours for the nicotin from the cigarettes to get out of your body, then after that it is all habit. If you have an urge after you finally do quit, pop in a piece of gum, or a mint. Or chew on something that will keep your mouth "entertained" like veggies or something that will not make you gain lots of weight. Hope this helps.

Jamie - posted on 05/13/2010

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I've been smoking about 3 yrs. When I was pregnant with my son I was able to cut down on smoking to the point of quitting. But where as my husband continued to smoke, and so didn't my friends and family, I started back up again after 2 months. Then a month later I quit again, but the same thing happened after 2 or 3 weeks. So I smoked on and off when I was pregnant, but only 4-7 a day. I felt really guilty and I still do. Lucky for me, my son was born completely healthy and is now 13 months old. Still I wasn't proud of it. I'm gonna try quitting again for good by this Sunday. Even though I don't plan on having another child for some time, it will be nice to know that baby won't have to take in a bad habit. Plus I hope by quitting, my kids won't be influenced by smoking as much. Good luck! Just talk to your doctor and go by what he/she says! I wish you a wonderful pregnancy experience!

Casey - posted on 05/13/2010

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i understand where your coming from i quit with my first and when i went back to work when he was 6 months old i started back. and then when i found out i was pregnant again i quit but i wasnt alone my husband did the same both times but unfortuantly we started back it is very hard but it helps to have support. talk to your family about it an try to limit your self an set small goals, like only leaving so many in the pack for the day give the rest to a friend or family member an each day cut them down by 1 an then only smoke halfs if you get despert distract your self by doing something like if you think i wont a cigg then say i will smoke after i wash the dishes , then say well let me put a load in the washer first an so on.. then you will have a clean house an will still have a ciggerete left. hope this helps let me know.

Rachel - posted on 05/13/2010

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my doc told me not to quit cold turkey because it can put stress on the baby. i smoked no more then 5 a day with both of my boys.

Jessica - posted on 05/13/2010

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when i was pregnant with my 2nd child i justr quit but that is because the smell made me sick... if you are scared of it being to risky try talking to your doctor about it or you can cut down to a few cigs a day

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