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Ways To Cut Down Or Cut Out Smoking Before Getting Pregnant

Smoking is an expensive habit and no matter how much you feel you enjoy it, wouldn’t you love to save up that money for a big treat like an extra holiday? Easier said than done, as smoking is extremely addictive and it can be very challenging to stop. There’s no wonder that the stop smoking industry is so rich. However at a time where you have extra motivation, such as when you hope to become pregnant, it can be the ideal moment to change this habit, hopefully for life.

1. Smoking Affects Fertility

When you smoke a whopping 4000 or so chemicals work their way through your entire body. 70 of these are known to be cancer causing. Smokers’ fertility can be affected by their habit, which can lead to ovulation problems, damaged eggs, damaged reproductive organs, genetic problems plus an increased risk of miscarriage.

Even second hand smoke can have these effects. As well as these female risks, the man is also at risk. Smoking lowers your partner’s sperm count, can cause hormonal issues and even lead to erectile dysfunction.

2. How Smoking In Pregnancy Affects Your Unborn Baby And You

  • Each time you smoke, the oxygen supply to baby is restricted, which means your unborn baby’s heart has to beat harder.
  • Not smoking means both you and baby will enjoy a healthier pregnancy.
  • You can reduce the chance of stillbirth.
  • You will reduce the effects of morning sickness.
  • You will reduce the chance of complications in your pregnancy.
  • You will also reduce the risk of cot death when baby is born.
  • Your baby is less likely to be underweight.
  • You will reduce the chance of premature birth and its related issues.
  • You will reduce the chance of your baby having asthma.

These are some of the many benefits to stopping smoking, as early as possible.

pregnancy and alcohol

3. Here's How To Make Smoking A Habit Of The Past – Become A Non-Smoker Not An Ex-Smoker

Begin to focus on the positive reasons behind your decision – do this as often as possible. You want to feel that you are not denying yourself something, but instead you are making a positive life choice, that you want. Once these reasons are clear, write them down and keep them somewhere safe.

Decide on what method you are most comfortable with – such as just pure determination, using patches or chewing gum, hypnotherapy or attending a stop smoking clinic. There are various routes available to you, be sure you pick the one that you resonate with.

Choose a date and try to cut down beforehand – this will make the withdrawal symptoms less severe.

Tell the people you know – it’s best that people are aware and hopefully supportive of your decision. And if you decide in the next point below, not to talk about it, ensure they appreciate this!

Choose not to talk about it, or not – there are advantages and disadvantages to talking about the fact that you have recently stopped smoking. The main advantage is that you feel encouraged and supportive. The disadvantage is the language you use can have an impact on your brain, and instead of helping, could in fact trigger more cravings.

Expect withdrawal symptoms – these tend to come in waves, and when mixed in with cravings, can be tough to handle. You need to be prepared. You may feel weird, spaced out, angry, impatient, hungry and so on – remember whatever you feel it is real for you, and accept that it will happen. Try as best you can to observe it and know that it will pass, relatively soon.

Your taste buds will come alive – and it’s best to be prepared for this, unless you could do with gaining some weight. It’s surprising how soon after stopping that you’ll notice how you taste food much more than when you were smoking. Stock up with healthy snacks, so that you don’t need to worry about putting on weight from snacking on rubbish.

The cough – as your system is delighted at the opportunity to cleanse, part of this process will include a cough. A wonderful remedy is hot water with honey and fresh thyme. It will take a bit of time for the cough to entirely go away, but remind yourself that it is a cleansing, not a bad cough.

Be positive – and try to have a sense of humour. If you feel bad or impatient, try to see the funny side and remember the positive outcome you are working towards.

Consider yourself a born again non-smoker – try to get the wrong terminology out of your mind. Phrases such as quitting and giving up have negative connotations. Enjoy calling yourself a born again non-smoker, this will help psychologically.

Don’t forget the obvious benefits such as a glowing skin and a fatter wallet. Remember the joy at all times, of when you will hopefully see the results of a positive pregnancy test. Think about the excitement and privilege of bringing a new person into the world.

Midwife sonographer facilitated

Consultant Led, Centre of Medical Excellence 


All articles on the blog and website are intended as information only. Please do not consider any of the information provided here as a substitute for medical advice. At all times seek medical advice directly with your own doctor and medical team.


This website was formerly Merrion Fetal Health. The clinic has undergone a rebrand and is now known as Merrion Ultrasound.