Becoming pregnant can be the most amazing experience you may ever have in your entire life.
Growing a beautiful new being inside your own can only be described as magical but when you have some habits of your own that can be hard to break , did you ever consider the risks that that habit can be doing harm to your unborn child ?
During my past three pregnancies I did something that I feel now to be selfish and disgusting as well as harmful to my child and I know it is too late now to change , I understand the implications of what I have done but thankfully I was able to change that with this pregnancy and I was lucky that my children were born healthy , very lucky.
I can not sit here and tell you that my pregnancy was all planned nor can I tell you that my decisions were all for the benefit and well being of my unborn child because this time everything came unexpected and unplanned.
I am not telling you that me quitting had anything to do with my pregnancy, I merely believe it had something to do with it but without myself actually knowing it was about to.
I believe that I simply knew something was going to change and only I had the choice to make things better in my life.
The week before Christmas I simply woke up and decided that that was the day which I was to quit smoking .
I did not know why and after 16 years smoking around 20-30 cigarettes a day , something suddenly came into my conciousness and told me now was the time I had to quit for good.
With the help and support from friends and family I was able to overcome the Christmas and New year Celebrations without even one craving or need for a cigarette and my dad especially was very proud of me although I knew he never thought it was possible after his trying to have me quit for 10 years previously .
To this day I am still Smoke free!
The reason this has been brought to my attention is the fact that I come across some interesting facts regarding smoking during pregnancy and some of the ways in which our society is trying to help those overcome the habits in giving pregnant ladies an incentive to quit .
We have all heard of the implications of smoking during pregnancy but who actually takes notice and why do people quit ?
In Glasgow , 306 pregnant woman were given up to £400 to stop smoking and nearly a quarter had given up by the end of their pregnancy .
Greenstead, Colchester and Harwich have currently just launched a similar scheme at the beginning of this year but instead with vouchers to use at their local Co-Ops.
I personally think that this is a great incentive and would encourage many mums to be to quit , but why should money come first before your unborn child?
Is this incentive a scheme aimed at those who are in need of the extra cash, those who do not work, have low incomes and struggling or is it simply a bribe into getting all woman to quit for the health of the baby.
A bribe? not sure if I am using the correct word .
I do feel however it is somewhat a fare exchange but is the health of your child not the biggest incentive you should need ?
There are said to be so many benefits to quitting smoking during or before pregnancy that helps reduce risks of miscarriage, morning sickness , premature birth, still birth and even cot death .
It was not long ago that my local University in Durham along with Lancaster University came out with some proof which included a series of images from a 4-D Scan comprising of 80 images of 20 different fetuses which were taken at four different intervals between 24 and 36 weeks of the pregnancy.
During the research, 4 of the mothers were smoking 14 cigarettes on average per day where as the others were all non smokers.
As they comprised all of the results together they came up with some very shocking images which captured fear into many mum to be's who smoked themselves and this is what I think personally helped people to quit in a more effective way than being bribed with cash.
On both pictures the fetus in both row A looks distressed and was proven to have rapid mouth movements which at 36 weeks should be reduced dramatically and this was from a smoking mother.
The baby in both pictures on row B is calm and from a non smoking mother .
You can clearly see that it is the Smoking Baby that is taking the impact of the habit and it was clearly very surprising to see how it impacted the unborn baby .
I think If I had seen these during my other pregnancy's I may have had more of an incentive to quit myself .
With more than 4000 chemicals which in some cases include cyanide, lead and at least 60 other cancer causing compounds working its way into your bloodstream which is your unborn baby's only source of nutrients and oxygen, it is no wonder so many complications in pregnancy's are caused when a mother is smoking during her pregnancy .
I really wish I had chosen to quit with my other babies, I feel I have made some bad decisions in my past but am pleased that I have quit before this pregnancy and giving this baby a better start in life due to making the right choice before getting pregnant , even if it was unknowingly happening.
We all know how smoking damages the fetus and unborn child , so why do we do it, it really is will power and wanting to quit.
I am honest in saying my reasons were truly because I was selfish and did not want to quit and never really understood the implications it had.
I am pleased that I suddenly woke up one day and realised that something better in my life was going to happen without holding one of those lethal white sticks in my hand and I am pleased that I have been able to control my habit by knowing what is best for my unborn son and sticking to the truth in knowing I am doing my very best for him and that is all a mother can truly do to protect them .
I am proud of myself for achieving quitting , my unborn son was always my true incentive to quit , he just knew he was coming before I knew he even existed.
What incentive do you think a mum to be should have for quitting?
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Wow, those are very powerful images... smoking is a hard habit to break, and well done to you for finally doing it. I've been smoke free for 2 years now, having started when I was 14... I did give up when I was pregnant, but soon started up again, and smoked on and off for way too many years. It's never too late to give up xx
4/6/2015 03:26:25 am
I'm not a smoker but my midwife told me about the dangers of smoking as she had to. I have seen many women smoke whilst pregnant and it annoys me as I know they have been told the dangers yet some women dont even know they are pregnant and continue smoking and drinking and baby is fine but I still agree no smoking (or drinking heavily) during pregnancy
4/6/2015 06:37:15 am
Well done on stopping. I've never smoked (apart from the odd experiment), but I did find giving up alcohol difficult from a social point of view during pregnancy. Part of me feels that mothers shouldn't need an incentive, but on the other side if it works, why not.
I don't agree with giving mothers money to quit. I think, however, that if they were told that they had extra food to help quit (as you eat less when you smoke for example) that would be better. I think you can only really give up when you are ready. The son I smoked throughout my pregnancy was the highest birth weight and healthiest and that's the kind of excuses people see and tell themselves. Personally I don't think any research proving it is ok to smoke should be allowed.
4/6/2015 10:47:39 am
Smoking is a hard habit to break and I am all for this incentive, smokers cost the NHS in the long run so surely it is better for the mother and the child to help them crack the habit in pregnancy
4/6/2015 02:10:07 pm
Not a smoker and never even tried it as I hate it so much. wish all people could give up.
6/6/2015 01:02:00 pm
I've never smoked so I guess I don't understand how hard it must be to stop but well done on quitting and useful article for those that need encouragement.
6/6/2015 04:29:41 pm
I walked out of the dentist one day took one cig out of my packet gave the rest to my Mum and said this is my last one ever and it was. I tried so many times before and failed its odd how things just happen sometimes.
8/6/2015 06:26:10 am
I stopped in all 3 pregnancies, but each time have found myself starting again when they hit about 2 years old- am so cross with myself!
8/6/2015 08:28:01 am
Those photos are very shocking, I completely agree they would be a big incentive!
8/6/2015 02:13:38 pm
Oh gosh those pictures make me feel a bit sick. That's quite distressing to see. That said I really don't think you should feel any more guilt about your past...you've made a great change now so look forward positively. Great post.
9/6/2015 05:28:29 am
Well done on quitting! I think being pregnat should be the best incentive for any woman, I'd never forgive myself if anything happened to my unborn child because of my stupid decisions and prioritising the bad habit over the child's health
29/6/2015 06:28:12 am
Woah - those photos! I could barely look at them! Well done for quitting,Kaz x
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