Perhaps the largest factor a mom-to-be should take into consideration is the possibility that her child is at risk of acquiring diseases when exposed to the harmful substances contained in each puff of the cigarette.
It is not really new to anyone that smoking has its own grave dangers that could harm even the most unsuspecting victims and yes, that includes the unborn child in her womb. And the danger is not exclusive to the unborn children; it also affects the newborn babies.
But even with all our knowledge on the health risks of smoking and the ways by which it could have stopped, there is still a lot of trouble women face when wanting to quit.
Pregnant moms have more need of quitting the habit since unlike men and women who bear no one in their wombs; pregnant women would not only put their lives in the line but also make the young soul too vulnerable to all sorts of unimaginable consequences.
But quitting is never easy and with pregnant women who bear the stresses of childbearing, finding that smoking cessation extremely challenging in comparison to the experiences of other people. However, there are so much at risk when a mom-to-be never stops smoking and there great rewards when the habit is kicked off.
Here are but some of the risks of smoking during pregnancy that mothers should be pondering over:
When the smoke reaches the placenta, its content would contaminate this sac which could in turn deprive the baby of appropriate nutrients and oxygen. These are vital in the normal and healthy development of the baby within.
There are increased rates in abnormalities seen in babies who mothers are smokers. There is marked increase in these rates as the degree of addiction increases in the smoker.
Low birth weight is likely to occur to babies of smoking mothers. Because of this, such babies are likely to become extremely ill, more prone to diseases and disorders, and are more prone to death during the first year.
A baby of a smoker mom would probably die due to SIDS or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
Now you know some of the threats to the health of the child, you now have more reasons to help a pregnant woman to quit the smoking habit. So that leads us to the first step into helping this mother and that is "encouragement".
It must start with something that will motivate her to break off the habit easily and informing her of what could be the effects t the child would appeal to her emotions and her instincts a mother. A mother should protect her child and that is one thing you must impress on her. She must never cause harm against her own child, and that's the second thing you should make her remember.
Smoking pregnant women are exceptional since most mothers, regardless if she wants it or not, have the common perception that she must do all possible things just to make her child healthier. But possibly, just possibly, pregnant women who smoke may not know so much about the risks against smoking. But informing a pregnant woman you know may open her into the realities that she is acting upon on her and on her child.
But this does not step on the encouragement phase, you must be able to drive her into really quitting and staying quit even after she has given birth. Continued support must be observed since this is one thing she would need once her prime reason for stopping has gone- that is bearing the child.
Some women can not do it alone, especially when strong urges to relapse call on them. But you, as the guide, should never falter on your support. Give her temporary guidance which could help ensure that she and her child are kept from the hazardous effects of cigarette or tobacco smoking.
The next step into helping a pregnant woman quit smoking is to provide her with all the resources she might need or at least provide her with information on the resources. For example, help her find the physician or stop smoking program that would help a lot with her smoking cessation or accompany her in shops which sell effective stop smoking devices and products.
These three steps, if followed, would contribute a great deal when wanting to help a pregnant woman quit her smoking habit.