Nikkole - posted on 02/01/2011 ( 36 moms have responded )




Ok so this was brought up in another thread and i though i would start one and ask opinions! So women who smoke,take some type of anti depressant or any type of drug for that matter and become pregnant should they quit cold turkey or should they wean there selves off? What is best for mom and baby and do you think the baby can tell if the mom is having withdraws?


Ashley - posted on 02/02/2011




If your anti smoking, you will always be, it makes me mad beyond belief when someone pushes their ideals and opinions on me then sticks their nice so far in the air I'm sure the air is hard to breathe up there. if you don't know the situation, or that person, who are you to say what is best?

Joanna - posted on 02/01/2011




When my husband and I decided to try to get pregnant again, I figured I should go off of Paxil. I quit cold turkey and it was the most miserable 9 days of my life. I was so dizzy that I couldn't move my head or everything would spin and I'd puke. I couldn't drive, couldn't pick my daughter up, and couldn't even sleep because of the dizziness. I called my doctor after a few days and found out you are supposed to wean yourself off it. Stupid me.

From that horrid experience, I'd say quitting cd turkey would definitely affect the baby. I mean, they get active when you have some sugar, the wake up when you sleep (can sense lack of movement, or just want to keep you onyour toes), they can sense changes in light, etc... Why would these extreme withdrawal symptoms affect them?

Jackie - posted on 02/01/2011




I think this thread is PERFECT for me to weigh in on because I am almost three months preggers and i was on anti depressants and I smoked.

You bet your sweet ass I weaned myself off of both and I went through pure HELL. You have to wean yourself off of antidepressants! I was on zoloft and I was told by the prescribing physician to cut down to half doses for a week and then half dose every other day for a week then stop. I did that and even then, I still had dizzy, fainting spells, I was extremely tired and sad.

As for the smoking, I cut down to 4/day then gradually stopped within 2 weeks. Honestly, I didn't think I was going to be able to do it because I enjoy smoking and my moods were all out of whack. Do I think it's wise to continue to smoke while preggers? No... but I will never ever condemn anyone who does. unless they are smoking like a freight train with no regard to the baby.

Jenn - posted on 02/03/2011




I personally quit several bad habits when I found out I was pregnant - and I did it cold turkey. I think you should quit in whatever way works for you - but quit. If you have to wean, then why not do it like this - let's say you smoke 2 packs a day, that's about 40 cigarettes a day, so cut down by 1 cigarette a day. In 40 days you're smoke free. Doesn't get much more gradual than that, does it?

Sharon - posted on 02/02/2011




Doesn't any one plan to have a baby anymore?

If you plan to get pregnant, shouldn't you be planning to be off certain meds or cut down as well?


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Brandi - posted on 02/04/2011




I used to work in a pharmacy. It is very important to taper down your dosage with an antidepressant. Serious side effects can occur from just stopping. Talk to your doctor about this first. As for smoking, I don't smoke, so I can't answer, but my friend stopped cold turkey.

Amber - posted on 02/03/2011




I quit before I got pregnant this time, but when i found out I was pregnant with my first son I quit 'cold turkey'. I don't understand how anyone can say that 'stress' is worse for an unborn baby than all the chemicals in cigarettes. It's like people are choosing to ignore that cigarettes ARE poison. It freaks me out, to he honest, because there are people who smoke when they are pregnant AND while they breastfeed. All those chemicals are going RIGHT to your baby. In my opinion, that is ten times worse than a bit of stress and withdrawal. That only lasts for so long, and isn't really an excuse to continue smoking for the rest of your pregnancy. Personally, I could barely breathe in my eight month for my son being in my ribs all day & night, I can't even fathom trying to smoke and continue breathing at the same time at that point.

Katherine - posted on 02/03/2011




What's up with all of the name changes?? Now I don't know who anyone is!

Anyways, I'm totally in agreement with Kate. No cold turkey. Anything cold turkey can be very dangerous.

Krista - posted on 02/03/2011




@Mike: No, a lot of babies are unplanned. Heck, haven't you seen some of the threads on here? It seems like the ones who planned their babies are actually in the minority.

Anyhoodle, I agree with Jenn's point about quitting in whatever way works for you, as long as you quit as soon as you feasibly can.

Jenn - posted on 02/03/2011




@Hotdog - where on that March of Dimes link did it say the opposite of anything about quitting cold turkey? I didn't see that at all. They suggested quitting as soon as you can, and gave tips on how to do it. One of those tips was to write down a "quit day", which would suggest quitting cold turkey. They do also mention about cutting down, but nowhere did I see it say the opposite of quitting cold turkey.

Rebecca - posted on 02/02/2011




I would suggest weaning. I quit smoking cold turkey during my pregnancy and it was really hard on my stress levels.

Jenny - posted on 02/01/2011




I quit smoking while pregnant cold turkey. First trimesters are great for that because I was spending so much time vomiting I had no desire to smoke.

I quit anti-depressents cold turkey once and went deaf in one ear. I never went back on them as I can't stand something having an effect like that on my body.I would have weaned myself off if I did over again.

Bonnie - posted on 02/01/2011




If a mother can quite cold turkey all the power to her. Probably best to wean for her own sanity. Taking less each day would be better for both her and the baby rather than continuing with the regular dose anyway.

Kate CP - posted on 02/01/2011




You CANNOT quit anti-depressants cold turkey. You WILL have a reaction and that can include suicide attempts. It is also much too stressful for the fetus and the fetus can go through withdrawals, too. It's best to wean slowly from smoking or any kind of medication if you find yourself unexpectedly pregnant. If you plan on getting pregnant then you can quit any way you want, I suppose...but weaning is still safer and less stressful.

Rae - posted on 02/01/2011




With my first child I quit anti-depressants cold turkey, it really wasnt a good idea and Im sure bub knew that I was having a very hard time. But it scared me more to be on them and the potential harm SSRI's can do to baby than to quit suddenly. With my two next pregnancies I weaned myself off and took up the offer of seeing the hospital counsellor every week otherwise my husband would have said no way we are having any more after the way I was with my first pregnancy.

Melissa - posted on 02/01/2011




well I have already said my bit but definately weaning is a better way cold turkey can cause miscarriage and shock to the baby

Mrs. - posted on 02/01/2011




Listen, my mom works for American Lung, I've heard the horror stories. Still, I know how hard it is to kick a number of problems and I hear smoking is one of the worst.

Let's put it this way, My Great Grandfather was a life long smoker-he got lung cancer. They treated his cancer and he was in remission. Then he decided he'd just use chew because his lungs were messed up. He got tongue cancer and then he died....

It's a hard drug to quit.

September - posted on 02/01/2011




Speaking for myself only I quit cold turkey (smoking), it's what was best for me and my unborn child. I was so happy about being pregnant I hardly noticed any withdrawal symptoms at all if any! :) Sorry I can’t speak on what’s best for anyone else.

Edit to add: I was a light smoker when I got pregnant so that may have made the cold turkey thing a bit easier.

~Jennifer - posted on 02/01/2011




Honestly, i just don't feel like repeating myself, so i haven't posted on this thread.

Laura - posted on 02/01/2011




It's boring when every one agrees, where are those voices of opposition from the last thread that were so vocal?

[deleted account]

Well, with a lot of medications, especially anti-depressants, you HAVE to ween off. When the risks for quitting cold turkey include suicide....ween.

As for smoking? My doctor actually told me not to quit smoking cold turkey. He recommended I ween and even drew me out a sample schedule of how I could do it and how long it should take.

Edited to add: In his time frame, I would have had my final cigarette at around 20 weeks. I got down to two cigs a day, and stalled there. There's no way I'd have been able to do it in two weeks lol NO WAY. I seriously would have gone off the deep end.

Mrs. - posted on 02/01/2011




As far as the anti depression drugs go, please check with you doctor if you are considering either going off them when you are pregnant or quitting cold turkey. There can be some serious side effects to doing the cold turkey with some drugs and it could affect the health of the fetus. As well, there are many anti depression drugs that are okay to use while pregnant, you just have to ask your doctor.

Smoking is something I've never had to do. I would say though kicking both, would be very hard.

I was and am on some medication for my neurological issues and went to several docs/specialists to make sure everything was okay when I was pregnant. She turned out perfectly fine and I didn't have to be in terrible pain during my pregnancy. My GP made the point that many women have far worse health issues, are on way heavier drugs and they have babies who are healthy. It made me feel better at the time that I was one the low spectrum of women who must take meds and carry kids.

Carolyn - posted on 02/01/2011




ah i had a great post submitted then the crap went all retarded once i hit submit and its toast :(

anyways, ill have to sumarize lol

Deanna, smoking is alot more than just cigarettes. It is the habit, the behaviour, the associations one makes to those cigarettes.

Someone who had smoked for many many many years, is unlikely to be able to wean in your time frame and methode and be succesfull. They will still go through withdrawals, it will just be prolonged trying to wean that rapidly. because the moment they go from 24 to 5 cigarettes, the withdrawals will start, then from 5 -2 , they will get worse, then after that its alteast a week.

To expect someone to break a what is usually a habit they have had for the majority of their teen and adult life so quickly is a pretty high expectation and setting people up for failure. The stress alone from trying to cope, never mind withdrawals could be harmful to mom and baby.

I smoked for 13 years, then found out i was pregnant.

I went from 20ish a day to 8, and then cut back 1 cigarette a week from there. I did it slowly, because i had to break the habit of having a cigarette after waking up, the association between eating and feeling full once i had my after meal cigarette. Without that, omg i felt like a bottomless pit. I had to break patterns of behaviour, habit and deal with the cigarettes in order to increase my odds of not returning to smoking once i delivered. so far so good.

Some people can go cold turkey, many of us cant. I know i couldnt. i had my last cigarette @ 20 weeks pregant.

oh another tid bit, nicotine is as difficult an addiction to quit as heroin. I have actually been told by heroin addicts in withdrawals saying they would rather quit heroin than quit smoking ( i work in a detox and treatment facility)

Becky - posted on 02/01/2011




Anti-depressants, definitely wean themselves off. Or even keep taking them at a lower dosage - in consultation with their dr. of course, if they're really needed. Smoking, I think going cold turkey is great if you can, but I understand not everyone can. There is a lot of research out there to indicate that high stress levels in the mother can cause increased risk of miscarriage, stillbirth and developmental problems for the baby. So, if quitting cold turkey causes the mother too much stress, then she should not do it.

Stifler's - posted on 02/01/2011




I agree with weaning, as opposed to cold turkey. Why someone would think a pack a day smoker wouldn't have withdrawal symptoms is beyond me.

Ashley - posted on 02/01/2011




i smoked through out two of my three pregnancies, i cut back from 1 to 1 1/2 pack to maybe one or two daily. i alos was taking various meds for other conditions, some i had to quit cold turkey, some i had to wean off of and some that i had to switch to a pregnancy friendly version. i realy depends on the person, situation, and support. i had my family and friends and doctor supporting my decisions and not forcing their ideals on me and that made it so much easier, when i went off my antidepressants i substitued extra therapy sessions to help me cope. if people have the right tools and encouragement and knowledge, then they are perfectly capeable for making ther right ecision for them and their family even if its not the right decison for you and yours.

Rosie - posted on 02/01/2011




ok, so i think it's best to wean off. and someone in the other debate was spouting off about march of dimes, and i went and looked at the march of dimes website and it says nothing about quitting cold turkey, in fact is says the opposite.

i have also read that stopping smoking suddenly when you are a smoker who smokes more than a pack a day is increasing the risk of getting a seizure. pretty sure seizures aren't good for babies either...

Nikkole - posted on 02/01/2011




@Jackie i also had to wean myself off my anti depressants when i became preggers with my son it was difficult but i was able to quit taking them all together after i had him i felt i didn't need them anymore and i didn't :) but i agree weaning off is SO MUCH better for you and baby!

[deleted account]

Yes I think the baby can tell as the baby is still a huge part of mom. Without mom there is no baby. As for stopping I think cold turkey is good if you can but most can't. A steep but gradual step down should be fine. example: if you smoke a pack a day. find out you are pregnant. immediately go down to a half a pack a day. 2 days later you smoke 5 a day. 2 days later you smoke 2 a day. and 2 days after that you should be able to quit with a lot less of the withdraw symptoms. IMO

[deleted account]

I'm sure some women can (and have) quit cold turkey, but many others can/should not. It depends on the person.

Nikkole - posted on 02/01/2011




My opinion is i think pregnant women who are on ANY type of drug should wean off of them and NOT quit cold turkey because everyone reacts to drugs differently and the women could have bad withdraws and maybe hurt the baby.

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