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Pregnant & New Mothers

Did you know?

Quitting smoking while you're pregnant increases your chances of having a normal-weight, healthy baby.

Facts About Quitting and Staying Quit

During Pregnancy

  • Many pregnant women are tempted to cut down the number of cigarettes they smoke instead of quitting. Cutting down to less than 5 cigarettes a day can reduce risk, but quitting is the best thing you can do for you and your baby.
  • It's never too late to quit smoking during your pregnancy.
  • After just one day of not smoking, your baby will get more oxygen. Each day that you don’t smoke, you are helping your baby grow.
  • During the first few weeks after quitting, cravings and withdrawal symptoms may be strongest. You can reduce the length of each craving for a cigarette by distracting yourself (keep your hands, mouth, and mind busy).
  • Quitline NC is a free, confidential resource available to support you as you quit. 
  • Withdrawal symptoms are often signs that your body is healing. They are normal, temporary, and will lessen in a couple of weeks.
  • Weight gain during pregnancy is normal. If you are worried about gaining weight when you quit smoking, now is an ideal time to quit. The weight you gain is far less harmful than the risk you take by smoking.

New Moms

  • If you smoked during pregnancy, it is not too late to quit smoking now – there are still many benefits for your health and your baby’s health
  • During the first few weeks after quitting, cravings and withdrawal symptoms may be strongest. You can reduce the length of each craving for a cigarette by distracting yourself (keep your hands, mouth, and mind busy).
  • Withdrawal symptoms are often signs that your body is healing. They are normal, temporary, and will lessen in a couple of weeks.
  • Weight gain during pregnancy is normal, and it takes at least 9 months for most women to lose that extra weight.
  • If you are worried about losing weight after you have the baby, focus on healthy activities you can do to help you lose weight, such as taking walks with your baby or eating more fruits and vegetables.
  • Many new mothers will experience the “baby blues.” They may feel sad and cry easily for a little while after they have a baby. Feeling down can make women want to go back to smoking.
  • Finding other ways of coping during this time will help you and your baby stay healthy. Some things you could do would be making sure to get out of the house at least once per day, making sure you get as much rest as you can, and eating healthy foods.
  • Some mothers experience much stronger feelings. These moms may have postpartum depression. Postpartum depression happens more than most women know. In fact, one out of every ten new mothers has postpartum depression.
  • If you have one or more of the following symptoms, call your health care provider as soon as you can:

    • Feeling really tired almost all the time
    • Feeling really worried
    • Crying all the time
    • Not being able to sleep even when the baby is asleep
    • Having scary thoughts

Ready to get started? Click here to develop a plan to quit.