I had smoked off-and-on since I was about 15 – a rebellious teenager. Once I left school, I was completely addicted.
I continued to smoke because I thought I enjoyed it, to relieve stress at work, and to give me something to do when I was bored.
Sometimes I was a heavy smoker and could go through a packet of cigarettes in two days.
I knew I needed to stop smoking when I found out I was pregnant. I was about eight weeks along and that was my main motivation.
I got in touch with the Southern Stop Smoking Service and with the assistance of my stop smoking coach, I stopped smoking using patches and lozenges.
I was (and still am) going to the drop-in clinic at Baillie and Lewis Pharmacy in South City (Invercargill) to see Deli Diack, Pregnancy and Parenting Educator of Nga Kete Matauranga Pounamu Charitable Trust, every week. She mentioned to me about the new Smoke Free Pregnant Women incentive programme, which meant I could earn up to $60 by stopping smoking.
I am about nine weeks into the programme and I am still smoke free. It’s a great incentive and has given me a goal to remain smoke free because I get a voucher every month, and it also gives me someone to talk to.
Deli has also informed me of what tobacco and nicotine can do to the baby in the womb, which has given me even more motivation to remain smoke free. She has also started educating me around breast-feeding.
I’m so grateful for the support of Deli and NKMP, and I’m looking forward to the education around safe sleeping and breast-feeding.
I’m drinking more fluids now, I’m eating better and I think I’m going to have a bigger, healthier and more settled baby at the end of it all. I’ve got more energy too and I can breathe easier, especially during my gym classes which I absolutely love going to.
I’ve realized smoking doesn’t cure boredom and that’s something I need to cure myself. It actually feels like I’ve been smoke free for much longer than eight weeks because it seems to have just disappeared from my mind.
I hope that I can remain smoke free and just focus on my baby. I’m doing this for me, and I’m doing this for my baby.
I’m 23 weeks pregnant now and it feels fantastic to be smoke free.