“I knew it wasn’t good so I quit for my baby”: quitting smoking during pregnancy

Ajak Machut has quit smoking hookah during her pregnancy.

When western Sydney mum Ajak Machut found out she was pregnant with her second child, she stopped smoking hookah straight away.

“I smoked hookah every day with my family, and it’s been hard stopping smoking… but I knew it wasn’t good and I quit for my baby,” Ajak said.

This story is familiar for many women in western Sydney where 12.9% of adults smoke every day, including 6.4% of mothers who smoke during pregnancy.

Blacktown Women’s Health Clinic, part of Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD), are supporting women to ‘Commit to Quit’ and the good news is smoking rates are falling.

My family members know not to smoke around me or my children while I’m pregnant” – Jessica

Registered midwife Jennifer Short believes more women are trying to quit or move away from being exposed to harmful second-hand smoke.

“Women are recognising the importance of not smoking for their health and for their babies. They know that it increases the risk of gestational diabetes and low birth weight,” she said.

Li Lin, a pregnant patient at Blacktown Women’s Health Clinic, encouraged people to commit to quit and consider how it affects not just their individual health, but others around them.

Li Lin and her partner Phrroun Pou at Blacktown Women’s Health Clinic.

“My dad wanted to stop smoking after it caused his lungs to be inflamed and he knew it was affecting his health and stamina.

“When he found out I was pregnant, it was just another incentive to quit completely,” Li said.

“He knew if I was exposed to cigarettes, it would be toxic for the baby.”

Ever since my husband quit smoking, he has been feeling healthier, sleeping better and it has made him want to look after himself and the health of his kids” – Amanda

Blacktown Hospital Midwifery Unit manager Tracy Paterson said seeking help to quit smoking is the best way to get support and stay motivated to stop smoking.

“We know most smokers want to stop smoking and many  find it difficult to begin or stay quit. I recommend smokers start by asking their doctor, midwife or nurse for advice. A free Quitline telephone line is also available,” Tracy said.

“We all want to help smokers commit to quit.”

Free support is available in western Sydney to help you quit.

There are many health benefits from quitting all forms of tobacco – including cigarettes, hookah, shisha, e-cigarettes/vapes and chewing tobacco.

For more information about getting support to quit smoking, please call Quitline NSW on 13 78 48 or go to the ICanQuit website at https://www.icanquit.com.au/.