If you are pregnant, you’re responsible not only for your own well-being, but for your baby’s as well. Avoiding tobacco use is one of the most important steps you can take to keep both you and your child safe. Find out why quitting smoking is so important for pregnant women’s health and what resources there are to help below.
Why You Should Avoid Tobacco
Tobacco use is always a health hazard. Smoking is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and lung cancer, for instance, while using chewing tobacco increases your risk of oral cancers. Smoking also has a negative impact on fertility in both men and women.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking during pregnancy increases several risks for the baby, such as preterm birth, low birth weight, and mouth birth defects, like cleft palate. If a mother smokes during pregnancy, the baby's risk of sudden infant death syndrome after birth also increases.
How You Can Quit
New York State offers tips and resources on how to quit. The first step is to identify triggers and then find ways to manage the urges they bring. It's advised to create a "quit kit" with tools to address cravings, such as snacks to chew on, or activities like a stress ball or word puzzle to keep your hands busy.
There may also be more localized resources available. For instance, Oswego County offers a community-driven, clinic-based smoking cessation program for pregnant women called "Smoke-Free for My Baby and Me.” This women’s health initiative is run by a network of public health partners, along with the Oswego County Health Department.
To find out more about the "Smoke-Free for My Baby and Me" program, contact Oswego County OB-GYN PC in Fulton, NY. Their obstetricians will help you come up with a tailor-made quitting plan that promotes your and your baby's health. In business for over 50 years, these women's health specialists provide comprehensive OB-GYN services from birth control consultations to pregnancy preparation and breast exams. Their obstetrical team offers 24-hour on-call services. Find out more about their participation in the smoking cessation program online. For a women’s health appointment, call (315) 343-2590.