Oh, No- now I have to quit smoking!

Ok, maybe that wasn’t your first thought, but it was mine. 

I had been smoking for years before I became pregnant, and I was pretty sure I needed to smoke for my anxiety. Unfortunately, there are many women who feel the same way I did.

Research explains why, for some people, nicotine may have a good side. Anxiety disorder often comes with a comorbidity of nicotine dependence, because nicotine is anxiolytic in some circumstances. Not only that, but the effect of nicotine on dopamine in the brain makes behaviors associated with smoking seem more pleasurable too, increasing the addiction. For some women, those smoking behaviors are social. Especially among young adults today, smoking has become such a social identification that smokers don’t identify themselves as smokers at all.

I knew I had to quit, and I bet your clients know it too. Just for “fun”, I ran a quick Pub Med search of prenatal and postpartum smoking. These are just some of the scary results:
Prenatal: Preterm birth, low birth weight, gestational diabetes. Postpartum: celiac disease, thyroid disease, lung disease, cardiovascular disease, SIDS, dental caries, hearing loss, behavioral health challenges, early menarche, changes in gut microbiota, atopic dermatitis, ADHD, obesity…

Thanks to the support of my family, friends, and the prenatal medical professionals, I was able to quit. But it wasn’t easy.

In addition to the counseling and education, and sometimes medication supports, that you provide as CPSP’s, there are some great free programs you can offer clients to help them quit.

Check out the Impact Sonoma webpage. Your clients can access support via text, telephone, and free apps including No Butts, Smokefree Women, and SmokefreeMOM (text MOM to 222888 for 3-6 messages a day for at least 6 weeks depending on quit date and due date).

The California Smokers Helpline offers supports in English, Spanish, and 5 Asian languages. Including a program to provide free nicotine patches to help family members of pregnant women quit.

You are an important component of effective treatment, you provide counseling and support throughout the course of the pregnancy, and you address barriers.

Thank you- you make a positive difference every day!
Liz George, RN, PHN, HNB-BC, IBCLC
Senior Public Health Nurse
Perinatal Services Coordinator
Maternal Child and Adolescent Health Coordinator
625 5th Street
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
Desk 707-565-4554
Cell 707-888-4202
Fax 707-565-4430
Sonoma County Maternal Child and Adolescent Health | Website