Smoking is bad for anyone, pregnant or not. However, if you smoke, you should quit once you become pregnant or find out you are pregnant.
There is no "safe" level of smoking during pregnancy. Cigarettes contain nicotine, carbon monoxide, and other toxins that affect your and your baby's health when inhaled. When you smoke during pregnancy, you:
Secondhand smoking happens when you inhale smoke from a burning cigarette and smoke exhaled by a smoker. Secondhand smoking, also known as passive smoking, is more harmful than smoking itself. The reason is that the smoke from the end of the cigarette or exhaled by the smoker contains more harmful poisons than the smoke inhaled by the smoker.
If you are exposed to secondhand smoke, you and your baby are at risk of health complications before, during, and after your baby is born. These include low birth weight, stillbirth, congenital disabilities, respiratory problems, allergies, ear infections, and many others.
When pregnant and after childbirth, don't let anyone smoke in your house, car, or anywhere around you. Also, avoid going to places where people smoke.
If you are finding it hard to quit smoking, you can talk to us at My Virtual Physician or your health care provider. We will provide information about smoking cessation programs that can help you.
You may also want to put the following measures in place:
Nicotine is the addictive substance in cigarettes that your body gets used to. When you quit smoking, you may manifest withdrawal symptoms. These include:
Withdrawal symptoms are often transient. They are strongest during the first week after quitting and go away within two weeks. It may, however, last for a month or a few more for some people.
Dealing with withdrawal symptoms requires discipline, and you can get all the support you need. You can try the following to help you:
You may experience frequent urges to smoke even after quitting, and the withdrawal symptoms disappear. Don't give in to the cravings. They are short-lived and will go away on their own.
If you relapse into smoking after quitting, don't lose hope. Quit again.
A visit to us helps you get your prenatal care started while you await your appointment with your local OB doctor. Your virtual physician can help to electronically order prenatal care labs and/or send an order to the nearest radiology facility for you to get an ultrasound.
At My Virtual Physician, we are available to help guide you through your pregnancy and answer any questions that may arise. We are in network with many insurance health plans, including Medicaid, Medicare, United HealthCare, and Blue Cross.