To give yourself the best chance of stopping smoking and staying stopped, set yourself a plan to follow.
1. Set a date to quit smoking
Choose a day when you're going to quit so you can prepare for it – make it sooner rather than later – every day you smoke is an extra day of poison for your baby. The night before, bin your cigarettes and ashtrays to help you avoid the temptation of 'just one more'.
You may prefer to contact a stop smoking adviser or visit NHS Smokefree before you decide on a date.
2. Contact a stop smoking adviser
You can find a stop smoking adviser through your midwife or doctor, or by talking to your local pharmacy. They can talk through your individual situation with you and help you set goals and work out a plan to quit and stay stopped.
Depending on your local area, you may be able to have one-to-one support or group support, and it may be possible for an adviser to visit you at home or talk to you on the phone.
3. Order your Quit Kit and download a helpful app
Order your Quit Kit, which has stickers, information and other items to help you stop smoking. You can also ask for face-to-face support, email support, text support. You can also download this helpful mobile Smokefree baby app, from University College London, to help you stay motivated.
4. Talk to your midwife or doctor
Your healthcare team can support you while you're quitting so it's good to let them know your stop smoking plan. If you're finding it difficult, you can ask about the different kinds of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) available and whether one of these would be helpful for you. You can get NRT free of charge.
5. Tell your family and friends
Make sure everyone knows you're quitting and ask them to help you by not offering you cigarettes. They can also help by distracting you when you're struggling with cravings.
If your partner smokes, tell him about the risks of secondhand smoke to the baby and ask him to quit with you.
6. Change your routine
Because you're used to smoking at certain times, in certain places and certain situations, it's a good idea to change your routine as much as you can at first so you can avoid as many of what used to be your 'smoking moments' as possible. If you usually have a cigarette after breakfast, for example, change the time and place of your breakfast so your routine is different. If you ate breakfast at home, for example, maybe try having it at work instead. This can help you break the association with having a cigarette.
7. Be ready with distractions
It will be hard sometimes, so it's always good to have some ideas ready to distract yourself from wanting a cigarette. Even pausing to take a few deep breaths when you want a cigarette will help. If you can, talk to a friend - when you decide to quit you could ask a couple of friends if you can call them if you get a craving. Have sugar-free chewing gum to hand, as this may help, and keep some crafts, puzzles and a good book close by to give yourself something to do. Some apps also have ready-made distractions for you.
8. Remind yourself why you're quitting
Every day you don't smoke is a day when you and your baby are free from the toxins in cigarettes. Every cigarette you don't smoke is a positive step. Be kind to yourself and tell yourself you're doing a great job.
9. Check out how much money you're saving
Smoking is expensive and when you quit, try putting the money you would have spent on cigarettes aside to spend on things for the baby.
Try our smoking cost calculator to see how much money you're saving and what it will buy.
10. Treat yourself!
Make regular treats part of your plan to quit smoking. These will give you something to look forward to and help you stick to your goal. Whether it's a magazine, a new book, a night out, lunch with friends or a cinema trip, you deserve a reward.
ℹLast reviewed on April 1st, 2015. Next review date April 1st, 2018.