Maybe you intended to stop smoking before you got pregnant, and just couldn’t. Or maybe your pregnancy was a surprise.
Either way, you now find yourself pregnant and smoking. Will stopping now benefit your baby, or is it too late?
The answer is a resounding yes—stopping smoking now, even if you are already pregnant, is good for your baby.
In fact, if you are still in your first trimester, stopping smoking now can reduce your chances of having a pre-term delivery, or of your baby being born with a low birth weight to that of a nonsmoker.
If you are pregnant, using medication or nicotine gum to help you stop smoking isn’t a good idea. Instead, try to work on reducing your smoking gradually, using relaxation techniques to help deal with stress, and trying to avoid situations that make you crave cigarettes.
Understand that it takes about 72 hours for nicotine to leave your system. After that, cravings peak on day 3 and then again on day 7. If you can get past these days, you are well on your way to becoming a non-smoker.
Wherever you are in your pregnancy, it is never too late to stop smoking for your health and your baby’s.