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How to quit when you're pregnant

Congratulations on your pregnancy, and for deciding to quit. Here are some handy quit tips to help you get from pregnancy to post delivery.

Quitting at any time during your pregnancy will give your baby a better chance of a healthy start in life.

Expecting a baby usually increases the pressure to stop smoking. We get that, and we’re here to help. We want to let you know that there’s a lot of support out there.

Quitline counsellors are trained to help you during your pregnancy. Your midwife and GP can also offer quitting information and support.

Quitline can support you right through to the birth, and in the weeks after your baby is born. Call 13 7848 or request a Quitline callback

Tips for quitting during pregnancy:

  • Gentle exercise such as swimming, walking and supervised yoga can help the body adjust to being without cigarettes.
  • If your partner or other people in your household smoke, encourage them to consider quitting or to only smoke outside.
  • Don’t forget you can call the Quitline for support or alternatively Quit for you – Quit for two is a free quit smoking app for mums-to-be. It's a fun and really practical way to quit and stay smoke free for the health of you and your baby.

Using nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products while pregnant

If you’re having trouble quitting, some NRT products are an option. Using NRT products is safer than smoking, but discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor or pharmacist before using it. If you plan to use NRT products, you should also tell the doctor supervising your pregnancy. 

If you are pregnant, the better options are the nicotine lozenge, mouth spray, gum or inhaler. These products usually provide a lower daily dose of nicotine than the patch. However, if you have nausea or sickness, you may prefer using a patch. You can use the daytime patch to help you quit, and you must remove it before going to bed. Do not use the 24 hour nicotine patch.

Do not use the nicotine patch if you are breastfeeding. If breastfeeding, you can use the nicotine gum, mouth spray, lozenge or inhaler. Breastfeed your baby first, then use your preferred nicotine product soon after.

Quitting medications – Champix (varenicline) or Zyban (bupropion) – are not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

When the urge to smoke strikes remember the 4Ds

  • Delay: Delay for a few minutes and the urge will pass
  • Deep breathe: Breathe slowly and deeply
  • Do something else: Ring a friend, listen to music, or practise pre-natal exercises
  • Drink water: Take ‘time out’ and sip slowly

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There are a range of support options available to help you quit.

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