What is a partner?
A partner can be a boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, family member, friend or anyone close to the pregnant woman or new mom. A partner is someone who cares about her and supports her.
When you are quitting or reducing smoking, it helps to get support from the people around you. Women tend to find it harder to quit or cut back when their partner and others who are close to them smoke.
If it is possible for you and your partner and close friends and family to quit or cut back on smoking at the same time, this would be ideal. When you quit or cut back together, you can support and encourage one another. Plus, you will not be tempted to smoke when seeing or smelling people close to you smoking. If your partner, friends or family want to quit or cut back with you, it is a good idea for them to talk to their health care provider about it.
If your partner, friends or family are not open to the idea of reducing or quitting, see our section on secondhand smoke
where you will find tips for creating a smoke free home.
Be open with those you are close to about the support you need during the quitting or reducing process. Here are some ways to ask for support:
- Ask your partner and others not to smoke around you, in your home or in your car.
- If your partner smokes, ask him / her to try to avoid smelling like smoke by doing the following: wash hands thoroughly, change clothes, brush teeth and use mouthwash after smoking. You can also ask them not to leave cigarettes, butts or ashtrays around the house.
- Tell your partner that you need them to be patient with you, especially when you are feeling irritable or cranky. These emotions can be a normal part of both quitting / reducing smoking and being pregnant or recently pregnant.
- To cut down on stress, ask your partner for help with chores, taking care of the children and other activities that make you feel tense or anxious. If you would like to read more about stress, click here.
- Suggest that your partner eat healthy and exercise with you for a healthier lifestyle and pregnancy, to reduce stress together and to make quitting or cutting back easier. Visit our pages on exercise and nutrition to read more.
- Ask your partner to remind you how well you are doing not smoking. Make plans with those close to you to celebrate your successes along your journey to quit or reduce smoking.
- Seek help from your partner to avoid people, places or things that make you want to smoke. Ask them to help distract you when you have cravings.
Sometimes changes related to smoking can cause conflict between partners. If arguing about smoking with your partner becomes a regular thing, try to develop some strategies. Tell your partner that you don’t want to talk about smoking anymore or that you are going to deal with your smoking on your own. Tell your partner not to pressure you because it does not help with your smoking. Instead, ask them to support you and do things that you know will help you.
Not everyone is always supportive or understanding when it comes to the topic of smoking and pregnancy. Sometimes people may make judgements about you or tell you that you shouldn’t be smoking. While this kind of advice is usually meant to be helpful, sometimes it can be the opposite. You may want to tell people that there are other things you are doing to ensure a healthy pregnancy such as eating well, exercising, keeping your stress low and getting lots of sleep.