You might have just recently found out that you are pregnant. If so, congratulations! A lot of preparation is in order, but first and foremost is the health of your new baby. Smoking is definitely no longer an option, but is quitting cold turkey? Below you'll find out why you should and can quit cold turkey, its benefits, how to stop smoking cold turkey, and what happens if you don't.

Why Should Pregnant Women Quit Cold Turkey?

Quitting cold turkey is perfectly safe for you and your baby while you are pregnant. The minute you give up smoking, your baby starts to get more oxygen, and your risk for miscarrying, early birth, low birth weight, and many other complications will drop.

If you quit smoking cold turkey, this means you stop smoking immediately. You are not using patches or any other type of nicotine replacement to help alleviate withdrawal symptoms. Quitting in this way has some advantages and disadvantages. The disadvantages have little to do with your baby and more to do with your withdrawal symptoms. You will probably feel some stress, discomfort, and restlessness.

If you are worrried about whether the stress of quitting cold turkey might affect your baby, it won't. There is no evidence that babies in the womb experience the same kind of irritability and restlessness that you might. Once your withdrawal symptoms fade in a couple of weeks, both you and your baby will be better off.

How To Stop Cold Turkey

Stopping cold turkey can be a bit difficult but if you are committed to doing it, you can. Set daily goals for yourself and reward yourself if you are able to resist smoking during the day. For example, tell yourself if you do not smoke, you will allow yourself a snack or treat at the end of the day. Taking a walk or stroll around the park can really help to alleviate the symptoms when you feel on edge.

What if you cannot stop cold turkey

If you don't believe you will be able to stop cold turkey definitely have a plan to gradually decrease the amount that you are smoking. Try to cut out all smoking within 2 - 4 weeks of learning that you are pregnant. This is completely doable, no matter how heavy of a smoker you are. While no one can guarantee the perfect health of your baby whether you decide to smoke or not during your pregnancy, you will definitely increase the chances of having a healthy pregnancy and baby if you can quit cold turkey.