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Smoking and Fertility
Smoking is an all too common bad habit for both men and women alike, regardless of age, race or lifestyle. However, the act of smoking is especially harmful for a woman who is trying to get pregnant, jeopardizing not only her health, but the prenatal risk of severely damaging her unborn child’s life. Whether you’re a smoker who is trying to conceive with her partner or simply know a friend or family member who could use this advice, check out the top five tips to quit as soon as possible:
Top 5 Tips for Quitting While Trying to Conceive
1. Create a strategy
A smart, proactive way to quit smoking is to create a plan that will allow you to set boundaries, goals and guidelines for yourself – ones that are realistic, and that you can actually follow. Take out the time to write down and acknowledge your triggers, and to discuss your plan with family and friends; especially since your loved ones are bound to make sure you stick to it. Jot down short and long term goals, in addition to the ways you are going to deal with withdrawal.
2. Try nicotine replacements
Prior to trying to get pregnant, utilize nicotine replacements – they allow your body to still receive nicotine, minus the (more) harmful tobacco. When you choose to go the nicotine replacement route, be mindful that it is all about trial and error. Something that worked for your co-worker or friend might not work for you, and that is totally okay – especially when you think about all of the options that are readily available to you. Nicotine replacements include gum, the patch, sprays, inhalers and even lozenges.
3. Quit cold turkey
This might not be feasible for everyone, but quitting cold turkey is a smart idea for women who want to have a baby. The reason? This quitting method entails that the person trying to quit doe so abruptly and instantly, without any replacements, therapy or other type of outside support. It is a method that has proven to be difficult but effective, with fast and quick results, even though a small percentage have reported that this was the best methodology for them.
4. Contact a cognitive behavioral therapist
A quitting tactic that is evidenced based comes in the form of cognitive behavioral therapy, defined as a psychological treatment that allows a person to alter their maladaptive thoughts, emotions and behaviors that have created or triggered the problems that have led them to smoking. These contributing issues could include anxiety, depression, addiction and a range of other psychological disorders. Any successful cognitive behavioral therapy includes preparation, quitting and relapse prevention.
5. Avoid your smoking triggers
Recognizing and learning to cope with your smoking triggers is one thing, but avoiding the triggers altogether is quite another. While this can certainly be difficult – especially if one of those triggers is a loved one or partner or who also smokes with or around you – avoiding the triggers entirely will be beneficial to your quitting attempt, and take away day-to-day temptations. Throwing away cigarettes, lighters and ash trays, avoiding caffeine, spending time with people who do not smoke and getting plenty of rest are all smart ways to overcome common triggers.
Prevent Pregnancy Complications in New Jersey
Aside from all of these helpful tips that will prevent you from smoking, the most important thing to remember is the common goal both you and your partner share: To birth a healthy baby, and prevent any pregnancy complications from happening. If you find that these tips weren’t helpful to you, please contact New Jersey Perinatal Associates at 973-969-3761 as soon as possible. Recognized for our leadership in both perinatal and maternal care, we are comprised of an award-winning medical team that is dedicated to preventing and treating women with high-risk pregnancies.