Breaking Bad Habits for Pregnancy
Vital resolutions for mom and baby
Some women are able to break bad habits because their desire to have healthy babies is stronger than their addictions. If at all possible, it’s a good idea to kick a habit before becoming pregnant, but it’s never too late to stop any habit that could harm your baby.
Tips for Stopping Bad Habits
Patricia Wooster of Tampa, Florida, stopped smoking before she became pregnant with her children. She has a newborn child, Jack, and a 2-year-old, Max. “I smoked for 10 years,” says Wooster, who also gave up caffeine. “I started exercising. When you exercise you don’t want to smoke because you can’t breathe.”
She made small changes as well as major ones. Instead of having her usual martinis, she would make “mocktails” or nonalcoholic drinks with cranberry juice and seltzer water. “I switched over to decaffeinated coffee,” Wooster says. “I’d still go to Starbuck’s but I’d have decaffeinated instead.”
To kick the smoking habit, she changed her routine. Rather than smoking on the veranda, she would have a movie night with her husband inside because she did not smoke indoors. Although she used to diet a lot before she became pregnant, Wooster never used diet drugs. She ate healthy foods instead of dieting during pregnancy.
Experts warn pregnant women not to use diet pills even if the products claim to be all-natural. Most diet pills contain caffeine, which may be listed as “guaranna.” Ephedrine or “MaHuang” is also dangerous during pregnancy because it stimulates the nervous system and increases resting heart rate.
Enlisting Support from a Midwife
A doula or midwife can often devote personal and individual attention to help a client break an addiction that is harmful to the unborn child.
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