How do I convince my pregnant friend that smoking harms her unborn baby?

Alana - posted on 03/10/2010 ( 8 moms have responded )




I know that we are all free to make our own choices in life and I know many of us out there have had children after smoking during pregnancies. Personally, I quit smoking as soon as I found out I was pregnant and feel very strongly that we must do the best thing for our health and the unborn childs health, so I would like to see my friend quit and put her child first. I am worried that she is afraid of the pains of labour and is smoking so the baby doesn't grow too big. She is young and I am worried that if I force my opinion she wont listen to me or worse, smoke fiercely with rebellion. Any suggestions? I am interested in opinions from people who smoked during their pregnancies too - do you ever regret it?


[deleted account]

Your friend is being selfish! Hope she can afford her cigarettes, because she's going to have to have $$ to pay for her childs health problems as they are growing up. 9 months is not a long time to give up your bad habits to provide a safe and healthy pregnancy and life for your child. Maybe she should start using crack so her baby only weighs a couple pounds when it comes out very pre-mature, maybe that would make her happy. Pain from birth does not last a long time, emotional pain can last forever. I'm sorry I sound really harsh, but this child of hers never asked to be born. The baby never asked to inhale the smoke and possibly have a really hard life because it's "mother" didn't want to provide a safe environment for them. Babies and children deserve the Very best start in life. It's just wrong! Maybe she should visit the pediatrics ICU wing of the hospital and see what she is going to get if she doesn't smarten up. Hope she gets to read this, print all these responses for her and shove them under her stinky cigarette face.

Melissa - posted on 03/10/2010




I didn't read your paragraph. I just want to say that not matter what you do you probably won't change her mind. She KNOWS the risks, unless she has been living in a cave, she has no excuse. It is selfish! Sorry, I don't really have much advice on this one.


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Karen - posted on 03/11/2010




i should clarify what i was trying to say, i wasn't meaning to go to the dr with her to tattle on her - in my dr office when you go into the waiting room you are able to ask the receptionist for information phamplets that she will go to a dr and get them for you to look at before your appt. sorry i didn't make that clear - just take her to the appt and see if you can get some phamplets on the topic to look at with her while you're waiting with her. it might get her thinking and maybe want to ask the dr while she's in there for some help on quitting.

[deleted account]

I had gone off the Pill in Sept. of '95 and got pregnant two weeks later, but didn't know I was pregnant. I didn't find out till early November that year. Before that I celebrated my birthday (Oct. 11) with a 12 pk of beer over a 24 hr period. Plus I was smoking, although it was one cig a day for me. When I found out about being pregnant, I stopped all that right away.

Years later, when my girl was close to 3, she was diagnosed with speech problems. Years later when she was about 7, she was diagnosed with mental retardation. A year later they found she had ADHD. Two years later, they found she has autism. I have done my research and found that the brain stem is formed in the first month of pregnancy. All that alcohol had an effect on her, and probably the smoking as well. I want more than anything to go back and change all I did, cuz now my precious girl (who will soon be 14) is paying the price for it.

[deleted account]

Do a google search & see if you cnt find some pictures of a smokers placenta...picture black lung & think about how that happens 2 your placenta which provides the baby nutrients! Made me quuit!!!

My neighbor smoked during her pregnancy and had her baby a month early! 5lbs!!! There's a risk I wouldn't want to take!!! My mom on the other hand had 6 kids all in the 7-8lb range so smoking didn't do much to keep em small! Not to mention the asthmatic, the one w/chronic bronchitis, I had multiple ear infections growing up & my husband swears I'm deaf...

Tell her you're concerned because of XYZ and let her make her own decisions! This will be one of many you will likely disagree with! No one parents the same! Good luck!

Christine - posted on 03/10/2010




Unfortunately there is probably not much you can do. She is an adult. You can provide her with all the information you can but ultimately its up to her. Sometimes its not better to quit if quitting is going to cause a lot of stress on the mom and therefore the baby. It would be good in the long run. She has to want to quit otherwise there isn't a chance that she will.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 03/10/2010




Karen has some great advice..but I have to say I disagree about nonchalantly telling on her to her doctor...that is exactly what you will be doing. Tattling. If she is early on in her pregnancy, maybe it hasn't quite hit her yet. I am sure that the guilt is starting to sink in, and anyone in society with a tv or any exposure to the world knows full well the risk of smoking while your pregnant. I would be suprised if she continued to smoke once she feels the baby kick...that is a big reality check right there. I do not support smoking during pregnancy, but I do understand how difficult it is to quit. I am 35 1/2 weeks prego, and I had to stop smoking. Nothing you say or do will make her stop. She needs to realize the devistating effects on her own. She is the only one in control of her body. Good luck.

Karen - posted on 03/10/2010




unfortunately you can't make her do it if she doesn't want to...maybe you could try to be with her for one of her dr appts (maybe offer her a ride or something) so you can casually ask the dr about it. the best you can do is give her the information and hope that she's going to make the responsible decision to stop. my dr told me that small babies are sometimes more painful to deliver because they have no "cushion" on them and you feel the bones more. just stick with her and keep encouraging her - you never know when it will click in her mind.

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