Quitting smoking is challenging enough when done during the least stressful days of your life. Quitting becomes more difficult if you are in a demanding situation, which triggers uncontrollable anger and irritability without your daily dose of addictive nicotine. Can it get any worse?
Think: quitting cold turkey as you find out that you are pregnant and begin your first trimester with morning sickness.
Quitting Before and During Pregnancy
The effects of smoking on unborn fetuses were established a long time ago, and it is only right to quit the habit once you find out that you are pregnant. Better yet, quitting long before you get pregnant will give you ample time to adjust and slowly get off the habit, replenish your body’s nutrients, and shape up your body for conceiving.
Then again, the reality is, many people are only determined to quit once they find out about their pregnancy. This is exactly why even midwives and physicians are unsurprised to know that many smokers are already pregnant but are still looking for effective ways to beat the habit while struggling on their first trimester.
Tips on Quitting While Suffering from Morning Sickness
Nicotine withdrawal and pregnancy symptoms are somewhat alike. The skyrocketing hormonal high brings you a pool of emotions, lots of cravings, stress, discomfort, and nausea, and the sudden loss of nicotine in your brain makes you feel exactly the same things. Combined, these two can cause much stress and anxiety. On the other hand, some women may find comfort in cigarettes to ease their morning sickness, the latter being possibly heightened by the sudden smoking and nicotine cessation. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to cope with such a testing time. Here are a few:
- Focus on your baby. Admitting to yourself that you are indeed pregnant will give you more motivation to quit. Visiting your obstetrician at the soonest possible time will make you realize early on that you are indeed carrying another human in your body.
It is important to note that the stress that you can get from quitting cold turkey, or with the use of nicotine replacements, has zero to very minimal effects on the baby. Smoking to ‘cure’ your morning sickness simply keeps your nicotine levels up, damages your body, and is passed on to the developing fetus.
- As your body goes through many changes during your first trimester, same time as you quit smoking, make sure to get enough sleep and avoid stress. Quitting and early pregnancy symptoms both make you feel dizzy. When this happens, try to lie down or sit down comfortably without moving.
- Stay away from second-hand smoke. The latter will not only make you crave for another stick of cigarette but may ironically make you feel nauseous as well. On top of that, second-hand smoke is as harmful as first-hand smoke, so tell your partner not to smoke inside the house or anywhere near you.
- Eat small meals instead of three big and full ones. Keep some soda crackers to nibble on whenever you start feeling hungry. Hunger makes you feel more dizzy while eating large will make you feel full, which commonly triggers a smoker’s urge to light another stick. It also makes you want to throw up more.
- Eat oatmeal and fruits regularly. They are light, fibrous, and full of nutrients and known as foods that help quit smoking.
- Avoid drinking coffee or anything with caffeine, for that matter. Instead, a cup of hot ginger tea will save you from queasiness and alleviate your morning sickness. It also reduces nicotine and cigarette cravings.
- Avoid greasy, fatty, and overpoweringly tasty food. Vegetables, lightly seasoned meat, and some soup with hints of ginger and spice will help.
- Take your prenatal vitamins with folic acid, as this is essential in supporting the full and healthy development of the fetus. This will also help your body build your immune system as you leave behind your addiction for nicotine.
If still unable to quit, there is always to option to use nicotine replacements such as patches, gums, or vaporizers. Wellbutrin is also used to help pregnant women in quitting smoking. Make sure to ask your doctor for professional advice before using them. Remember, though, that it only gets better in time. After your first trimester, which is also about three months after you quit, better days are coming. You will enjoy a healthy, guilt-free pregnancy without the cigarette cravings, the morning sickness, and the risk of getting a miscarriage.