May 9, 2013

Happy Mothers are Smoke-free Mothers Who Switch to Vaping

Women Smoke Until They're Pregnant. Then A Switch Goes Off.

When I had my first baby (Rita, now age 27), the mother lion inside me came roaring out.

I would do anything to protect her from harm. I began envisioning things that could possibly hurt her and took every precaution to protect her – putting up baby gates, covers on electrical outlets, etc.

I distinctly remember driving home from my part-time job at the American Red Cross in St. Paul to nurse her when she was six months old. It was about a half-hour drive along a busy freeway. Truth is, I’m a pretty aggressive driver. But those days, I wasn’t taking any chances. I had to stay alive to take care of my baby!

Women who start smoking in their teens may not worry much about their health. At that age, they think they’re invincible.

Quitting smoking is the right thing to do when you're pregnant. But it can be tough to kick the habit, and you may be tempted to resume smoking after the baby is born. 
But when you’re pregnant, a whole other sensibility kicks in. Thank goodness, because smoking is obviously bad not just for the mother, but for her unborn baby.

The Dangers of Smoking in Pregnancy 

Women will often give up smoking during pregnancy because they know that the poisons in cigarettes affect the baby, increasing her heart rate and lowering her oxygen.

Smoking also increases the chances of miscarriage, premature birth and stillbirth, and can greatly affect the baby’s lungs and birth weight. There is even evidence that women who smoke during pregnancy can cause life-long medical complications for her child, such as asthma and ear infections. And if that wasn’t enough, there's a financial cost, too; millions of dollars are spent on babies and children who pay the price of having a mother who smoked.

In fact, it’s so important to not smoke in pregnancy that some states are taking drastic measures to incent women to quit smoking. A Coordinated Care Organization in Eugene, Oregon is actually paying pregnant women cold, hard cash to stop smoking.

A campaign was set up by midwives in northern Ireland to try and stop women smoking during pregnancy after they learned that 15 percent of their maternity patients were smoking. The 'Smoke Free Womb' campaign uses DVD's, Facebook Smokefree Wombs, face to face sessions and cartoons to get their point across to women. Pregnant women who take part in the campaign are given information about how smoking affects their unborn child, and agree to work with the midwives to quit smoking.

Resuming Smoking After the Birth 

Women who quit smoking during pregnancy will sometimes resume the habit of smoking after their baby is born. But the danger to their baby isn’t over. Babies who are exposed to secondhand smoke (SHS) are at higher risk for sudden infant death syndrome.

Babies should be protected from anything that could harm them. And that includes secondhand smoke. 
Chemicals from tobacco smoke reach women’s breast tissue and are found in breast milk. Children who are around smokers are more likely to have more frequent and severe asthma attacks, lower respiratory tract infections, ear infections, bronchitis, lung infections and pneumonia. Some of these require hospitalization and can be life-threatening.

The only way to fully protect your baby from secondhand smoke is to prevent all smoking indoors. Making your home smoke-free may be one of the most important things you can do to protect your baby and children from health problems related to SHS.

What about Nicotine? Is it Harmful to my Baby?

Nicotine is released into your bloodstream and like caffeine, will affect your baby. So the soundest answer is to avoid nicotine and caffeine altogether when you’re pregnant.

The best advice we can give is to wean yourself off of nicotine as quickly as possible when you know you’re pregnant. Doctors who might even prescribe Zyban or Chantix would likely not prescribe it to a pregnant women (at least we hope not!).

The Vaping Vamps ‘Tri-Level E-Cigarette Starter Kit’ can help women who want to slowly lower their nicotine intake. It comes with five cartomizers in three different levels of nicotine – two high, two medium and one low. Eventually, you could switch to vaping an e-cigarette with no nicotine altogether!

Keep in mind that if you quit cold turkey, you may suffer symptoms of withdrawal because your body is used to nicotine. That’s why it makes sense to reduce your level of nicotine gradually.

Most people still are plagued with the urge to smoke after they quit. Of people who quit, 75 percent relapse, and most quit three times before they’re finally successful. That’s another reason why trying an e-cigarette starter kit makes good sense. An e-cigarette enables you to indulge your habit without exposing you to the 4,000 chemicals and 57 known carcinogens in cigarettes. It’s a great bridge to a life without cancer sticks!

Vaping Eliminates Secondhand Smoke. Completely.

With vaping, you’re not blowing smoke – you’re blowing vapor! And when you vape – guess what? NO sidestream smoke, because you don’t have a lit, burning cigarette. Your battery is dormant and can actually be carried around in your purse. And there’s no mainstream smoke either.

Here are a few tips to prevent you from resuming smoking after your baby is born:
  • Ask people who smoke not to smoke around you. 
  • Drink fewer caffeinated beverages; caffeine may stimulate your urge to smoke. 
  • Avoid alcohol, as it may also increase your urge to smoke and can be harmful to your baby if you’re nursing. 
  • Try vaping a non-nicotine e-cigarette when you get the urge to smoke. It can help satisfy the hand-to-mouth habit and cravings while not exposing you or your baby to either nicotine or secondhand smoke.

2 comments:

  1. Nice article! Ideally, no mother would smoke during or after pregnancy. However, we know this isn't going to happen. Vaping is a wonderful alternative and has kept me from smoking for 8 months now (after 30+years o smoking) The question of safety still hasn't been addressed through research, but I think common sense will tell you that it's definitely better than smoking. My question, which I'll promptly do some homework on is: How safe is propylene glycol for a developing fetus? Nicotine actually isn't harmful, it's just addictive. We all know that 0mg juice is available, but what's not available is propylene glycol free juice. More information is still needed to determine the safety of vaping during pregnancy, but until it's available, common sense will tell you that you'd be a fool to smoke when vaping is available.

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  2. Thank you so much for your article. It was indeed a great read. I don't usually comment on random articles I've come across, but I felt like sharing a study my Dad showed me a little while ago. He is the one that got me into vaping after all. I don't have a positive yet, but I am very sure I'm pregnant and I have been looking around to see if anyone else has asked whether or not 0 nic e-liquid would be safer. Well I have found a couple articles that were all from the vaping skeptics point of view, so of course that didn't help me any. Thanks again for this article, it's given me a bit to think about. Here is a link to the study my Dad showed me, it dates all the way back to 1942! A long, but Very informative read for anyone that has a doubt about propylene glycol and it's affects on your body (for the non-pregnant vapers that is, still haven't found a study showing the effects on a fetus). http://www.lakeneosho.org/Ecigs/Page5A.html

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