programs incorporate a variety of activities and ideas to
help quit smoking habits. Many women who smoke may consider smoking cessation
during pregnancy. Women are aware of the consequences of smoking during
pregnancy and also the smoking cessation benefits.
One of the main preventable causes of ill-health and
death among women and infants is maternal smoking during pregnancy. Adverse
pregnancy and birth problems like miscarriage, prematurity, still birth, low
sudden infant death syndrome
, etc. are found to be associated with prenatal
Smoking cessation benefits, especially during
pregnancy, can be innumerable. Smoking cessation helps in overall improvement
of health; by reducing the accumulated carbon monoxide levels in blood and
improves lung function. The risk of cardiovascular diseases reduces to half of
that of a smoker by about a year of quitting.
Benefits of Quitting Smoking
in Pregnant Women include:
Benefits for the Baby:
for the Mother:
oxygen supply to the baby, even by the next day of not smoking.
the risk of asthma or bronchitis in the baby to be born.
the risk of premature or low-birth weight baby.
the risk of cardiovascular diseases, lung cancer, chronic lung disease, etc.
energy levels and easy breathing.
- Improved taste of food.
on the expenditure on cigarettes.
Smoking cessation therapy for pregnant women is
different from the smoking cessation therapy for others. During pregnancy, the
effect of nicotine therapy is found to be minimal.
In general, exercise can help in smoking cessation in
the following ways.
can ease the nicotine withdrawal symptoms by keeping the good hormones flowing.
activity reduces stress levels and keeps you in high spirits. Exercising can
promote the release of the "feel good" hormones called endorphins that help
keep the stress, depression, aches and pains away.
can be a good diversion and a healthy alternative to fill up the time-gap of
the smoking habit.
- Many people gain weight when they are
trying to quit smoking through other therapies like medications and behavior
modification. Exercises and physical activities can help keep the excess weight
unless otherwise contraindicated not only helps to quit
smoking, it has some additional benefits as well.
Benefits of Physical Activity
in Pregnant Women include:
Exercising during pregnancy
must be done only after consulting the doctor and ruling out any
contraindications to exercise during pregnancy
boost up energy levels
- Helps in getting better sleep
aches and pains
- Prevents unnecessary weight gain
muscle strength and stamina
- Prepares for childbirth
stress and helps the pregnant woman to keep calm and happy
lose pregnancy-related fat faster after childbirth
. Pregnant women can include the following in their
physical activity routine:
- Low impact aerobic exercises
Studies have been done to find the effects of exercise
or physical activity on smoking cessation during pregnancy. One such study that
was recently published in the British
was conducted on 789 pregnant smokers, aged 16 to 50 years,
at 10 to 24 weeks of gestation. The target quit date was agreed to be set a
week after enrolment. All women received 6 weekly sessions of behavioral
support for smoking cessation. In addition, around half the women received 14
sessions of supervised treadmill exercise and consultation for physical
The study found that smoking
cessation rates among group that performed physical activity along with behavioral
therapy and the one that underwent only behavior therapy are similar.
This was confirmed with tests that supported the
participants' claims of quitting. Therefore,
the influence of physical activity on smoking cessation was not significant
Although research may indicate that inclusion of
physical activity in smoking cessation programs in pregnancy does not
contribute significantly to smoking cessation, physical activity has a great
influence in the improvement of overall physical and mental health in most