How I kept motivated to quit smoking

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21-year-old mum Verona shares her tips on quitting smoking and how baby Amelia helped motivate her to stop for good.

Here’s what Verona says in the video if you can’t watch it…

Hi I’m Verona, I’m 21, my daughter’s two and I’m 30 weeks pregnant. I used to be a smoker — I stopped end of August and then a few months after that I found out I was currently pregnant.

After my first pregnancy I noticed that within two to three months, I’m gonna say, I went back to smoking. But this time around I’m determined not to go back to smoking after I have her sister.

Amelia

Verona stopped smoking while she was pregnant with Amelia

And I’m also determined to make my partner stop or cut down to at least the nighttime or the morning. Most people know that it’s not good to smoke during pregnancy, so that’s also another factor as to why I wanted to stop.

It’s not just about mum stopping — it’s also about dad/partner stopping as well.

Because like, for example my partner, he smokes and I’m getting him to cut back on how much he does smoke. Because I said to him, you washing your hands, changing your clothes, you going for a walk, it doesn’t really help.

Even though, yeah, you’re not smoking in the house, or around Amelia or around the new unborn, it’s still gonna be in your pores, in your fingertips, etc.

I didn’t like the fact that Amelia knew what a lighter was…

Even though she’s not physically pressing it, or trying to figure out how it works, even though she’d always come and be like ‘here you go mummy!’

But it’s like, just for me that’s a big no-no. And then people tend to have their stuff in their bags or their tins. It’s like — you’re being lazy — ‘darling, go get Mummy’s bag’ or ‘go get the biscuit tin’ or
‘go get this’ or ‘go get that’.

Amelia

As they get older, they will start putting two and two together to make four and be like ‘OK, so this is where Mummy keeps her stuff’.

And sooner or later she’s gonna go outside.

Like, when I used to smoke when she was younger, she would know I’m going outside to go and smoke. And she’d be like, ‘I wanna come’ and it’s
just like, you can’t be around me while I’m smoking.

So that’s another reason why I sort of gave up as well because everytime I go outside I can’t have you trying to come outside and play or y’know just be around me while I’m trying to just
have me time or whatever the case may be.

To be honest, I didn’t really find it hard to stop, because my whole thing is, if you have something to do, then you don’t really need to focus on smoking or go out to go and smoke or to buy cigarettes or whatever it may be.

It’s easier if you do have children…

Because that money you would use to support your needs, or your cause or whatever it may be, you could go to the pound shop and buy little arts and crafts — activities to sit down and physically do with your children or child. And then you’ll actually be amazed how much time goes within that short period of time.

Young parent Verona with daughter Amelia

It helps if you have a routine.

For example when I used to smoke, I used to smoke in the morning and at nighttimes. Maybe if I’m at the bus stop or something.

But if you have a routine like, you wake up in the morning you go to work or you go to college or university, then you’re not really thinking about ‘oh, look, I need to go for a fag break’ or whatever the case may be, because you’re in a routine. So you’re just constantly on the go, keeping yourself busy.

And, yeah, just be busy, busy, busy, busy!

More advice and information on smoking

Protecting your baby from tobacco smoke is one of the best things you can do to give your child a healthy start in life. It’s never too late to stop smoking – dads too!

Stopping smoking will benefit both you and your baby immediately. If you stop smoking:

  • you will reduce the chance of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
  • you will reduce the chance of stillbirth
  • you will have less morning sickness and fewer complications in pregnancy
  • you are more likely to have a healthier pregnancy and a healthier baby
  • your baby is less likely to be born too early and have to face the additional breathing, feeding and health problems which often go with being premature
  • your baby is less likely to be born underweight and have a problem keeping warm: babies of women who smoke are, on average, 200g (about 8oz) lighter than other babies, and may have problems during and after labour and are more prone to infection

Watch the video below about how Shedenise stopped smoking when she was pregnant, and find out how to get support with quitting here.

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