I gave birth to my first child Sören Elm, 24th August 2014, I smoked cigarettes towards the end of my pregnancy. When the midwife delivered my placenta I was shocked by the damage smoking had caused it. Now pregnant with my second child due June 4th 2016 the image of the placenta stuck in my mind. I worried that the experience I had wouldn’t be enough to motivate me to quit smoking, I had been smoking 20 cigarettes a day for a number of years and knew it would be a real challenge.
My first midwife appointment offered me the support to help me quit smoking; I only had to wait for a text/phone call. In the meantime I took it upon myself to try and cut down to a couple a day- I soon realised this wasn’t good enough.
Next I decided to go cold turkey, which through will power was doable but I wasn’t very happy. I did stress a lot and being a full time mum while my partner worked long hours it was a struggle. I tried not taking frustration out on my son, if I did get cross, I’d sing at him rather than shout- he’s only 17 months so I didn’t want him to pick up on any negative vibes. I had a lot of resentment towards my family members for smoking too which again was a struggle to hide my frustration. Luckily it wasn’t long until I got a message from Lynne, a smoking advisor who arranged to come for a visit.
Lynee was great, she understood my situation and was still willing to help, even though I had got through the first hurdle of cutting out cigarettes I was however very tense and did not feel confident that I could keep it up. She soon told me about products the NHS scheme could offer and reassured me there was no harm to the baby if I allowed nicotine back into my system.
Her duty as a smoking advisor was very clear as she had a big organised folder, she knew all the science and plenty of leaflets to hand out, but there was also a level of personal interaction at each meet up, it allowed me to open up how I was coping and my feelings towards everything as well as how many products I had used that day, etc. Anyway the products were a result! I use the gum daily and the inhalator in social situations- at my mums, on holiday with my mates or just something to work towards.
Having Lynee come and visit is a reality check, I always look forward to doing the carbon monoxide reading to prove me and my baby are smoke free.
My pregnancy isn’t over yet but I highly credit the support the quit smoking team provide, always so friendly and non judgemental- stopping was so stressful but they have made quitting smoking a lot easier and I honestly feel more confident that I will not have another cigarette week by week.