10 Tips On Dealing With Cigarette Cravings During Pregnancy
To give a healthy start to your baby, quitting smoking can be one of the best decisions you will make. It is never too late to quit. So even if you haven't given up smoking now, the sooner you do that, the better it will be for the health of the child.
That said, quitting smoking is no easy feat, more so during pregnancy. Many women suffer from morning sickness, and having to deal with withdrawal symptoms and managing cravings during pregnancy can be an ordeal of Everstian proportions.
How Does Quitting Smoking During Pregnancy Benefit?
Stopping tobacco consumption during pregnancy will save your baby from harmful carbon monoxide, nicotine and 7000 other different chemicals that are released in tobacco smoke. When you quit smoking:
- You reduce pregnancy and birth-related complications.
- The risk of stillbirth reduces.
- You reduce the risk of having a low-birth-weight baby.
- You reduce the risk of giving birth to a premature baby.
- You reduce the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
- You increase your chances of having a healthy pregnancy and a healthier baby.
Do remember that quitting smoking during pregnancy will benefit the baby and you. Let's look at our 10 best tips that can help you deal with cigarette cravings during pregnancy and pave the way to a tobacco-free future with a bit of ease.
- Staying Hydrated: A cigarette craving is typically an intense desire to light up one smoke just to get over the urge. Keeping a water bottle handy or even some healthy juice options can help you thwart it. Rehydration has helped many pregnant women manage those intense desires for smoking that hit them from nowhere.
- Try Distracting Yourself: A craving has a small shelf life-typically it lasts between three to five minutes. If you can allow yourself to be distracted for the duration, you will find a lesser urge to smoke. What are some great distraction techniques? Taking a walk, eating fruit, talking to a friend or watching a movie have been helpful to others who were successful in managing their cigarette cravings during pregnancy.
- Remember Your Why: You have a great reason to quit smoking which is why you decided to do that. Let your emotional and mental cravings be subdued by clear, hard logic. Reminding yourself about your motivation to stop cigarettes can help you stick to your goal of creating a tobacco-free future for your baby and yourself.
- List Your Affirmations & Promises To The Baby: In the deep rut of everyday life, it is possible that you may get distracted. Jot down your promises and let those reaffirm your decision to quit smoking for good.
- Go Mobile With Your Hobby: Another great way to distract yourself to manage cigarette cravings during pregnancy is to have portable hobbies. A craving can strike anytime, so your solution should also fit different scenarios. Crossword puzzles, mobile games, knitting, crocheting, reading, embroidery, and a whole lot of options can work. Ask your friends and family for more ideas to help you navigate those tough times.
- Snack On Fun, Healthy Foods: Replace the anxiety around an impending cigarette craving by having a fun snack ready. Fruit with peanut butter, carrot sticks with hummus, basil pesto toast, a milkshake or a smoothie, a slice of banana bread, home-made laddoos, or anything else that tickles your tastebuds may help you manage cigarette cravings during pregnancy.
- Try Nicotine Replacement Therapy Under Supervision: If nothing is helping with tobacco cravings, ask your doctor or midwife about NRT (Nicotine Replacement Therapy) products like RYZE nicotine gums, nicotine patches, lozenges and nasal sprays. Do not start these without consulting your doctor. NRT products provide a calibrated dose of nicotine to the body to deal with withdrawal symptoms and to help manage cravings effectively and assist you in stopping tobacco consumption.
- Call In Your Tribe: cigarette cravings and pregnancy can be a tough combination. Try talking to your friends or family to help you get over the initial burst of desire. You will feel much better and be successfully distracted by the conversation with them. Doing this also involves them in your quit-smoking journey.
- Online Resources Are At Your Service: There are many digital apps and online forums where you can connect with like-minded people who themselves are on their tobacco cessation journey. Connecting with them or with a therapist can help you reinforce your resolve to stop smoking.
- Gratitude, Mindfulness & Patience: Practising gratitude, mindfulness and having patience can bring you towards the centre of your being and remind you that there is a larger goal here- that of keeping your baby healthy. Deep breathing techniques like pranayam can be meditative and calming while helping you manage cigarette cravings during pregnancy.
Cravings can seem all-consuming, but it helps to know that changing your focus can help you deal with them. When you empower yourself with the drive to choose what is best for your family, your baby and yourself, you take the sting out of that craving. Do believe in yourself and trust that you will make the best decision.