Smoking cessation before 15 weeks gestation yields the greatest health benefit for pregnant women and their offspring. However, quitting anytime is still beneficial. Offering women services as early as possible in pregnancy is recommended for interventions to be most effective. It is estimated that 20 percent or more of low birth weight babies could be prevented by not smoking during pregnancy (Fiore et al. 2008).
ACOG Guidelines has specific recommendations on how to communicate the benefits of smoking cessation to patients (ACOG, 2011).
For example, remind patients:
- Your baby will get more oxygen and breathe better after having quit for just 1 day.
- Your baby will be less likely to be born early.
- There will be a better chance the baby will be able to come home from the hospital with you.
- Your baby will be less likely to have bronchitis, asthma, ear infections and ADD.
- You will not be exposing your baby to over 2,000 chemicals found in cigarettes.
- You will be less likely to develop heart disease, stroke, and other smoke related diseases.
- You will have more energy and breathe more easily.
- You will have more money to spend on things for the baby.
- Your clothes, hair and home will smell better.
- Your food will taste better.
- You will feel good for what you have done for your baby.