Women who are pregnant have more than their own health and wellbeing to consider as everything that they do and consume could have an impact upon their growing baby. Everyone knows that pregnant women should avoid smoking regular tobacco cigarettes, however it isn’t always easy to kick the habit and if you find that you’re struggling, what can you do? Vaping is one alternative that you may be thinking about trying, but is it any safer to vape while you are pregnant? Here, we look at the safety issues around vaping during pregnancy so that you can make an informed choice.
How Is Smoking Harmful During Pregnancy?
Before we look at whether or not there is any risk to a fetus from vaping, it is important to understand the reasons why smoking tobacco should be avoided during pregnancy. Traditional cigarettes contain many different chemicals, with around 70 of these known to be carcinogenic. Other components, such as carbon monoxide, also harm the body in other ways. Carbon monoxide makes blood cells less able to carry oxygen around the body and this has major consequences during pregnancy, as reduced oxygen levels during fetal development results in babies being born at a low birth weight, arriving prematurely or even being stillborn in severe cases. Smoking tobacco also increases the risk of miscarriage and birth defects and therefore should definitely be avoided.
Can Vaping Harm My Baby?
Although there are no published studies as yet into the safety of vaping during pregnancy, it is clear that it must be a healthier alternative to smoking tobacco cigarettes for those who are struggling to give up using the cold turkey method. E-cigarettes contain no carbon monoxide, and the levels of chemicals contained in them are much lower – more like a nicotine patch than a cigarette. Evidence has shown that vaping is 95% safer than smoking tobacco, and while pregnant women must take care over what they consume, if it comes down to a choice of regular cigarettes or vaping, e-cigarettes win out every time. On the other hand, the nicotine content in some e-liquids can be harmful to a growing baby and this is something that pregnant women should bear in mind.
What Should I Do If I’m Pregnant And A Smoker?
Current medical advice suggests that women should not consume any nicotine containing products while they are pregnant, so if you are able to quit the habit completely before trying for a baby, that is the best option of all. Of course, that is not possible for everyone, and if you are already pregnant and a smoker, you need a less harmful way of obtaining your nicotine intake in order to minimise any harm to your unborn baby. It is important, however, to try to reduce the amount of nicotine you consume overall, moving towards an e-liquid that contains lower nicotine levels with the aim of reaching a zero level as soon as possible.
What Tips Can You Give Me For Switching To Vaping While I’m Pregnant?
How can you have the best chance of being successful in switching to vaping instead of standard cigarettes while you’re pregnant? Here are some handy tips:
- Use high quality e-cigs. A larger box mod that has a variable wattage will be able to give you your nicotine fix more effectively than a smaller model and this will make quitting easier.
- Choose the right e-liquids for you. If you pair a quality e-juice with a quality box mod, you will probably only require a nicotine level of around 1.2%.
- Choose the right flavour. You may want to go for the familiarity of a tobacco flavoured e-liquid, however many brands are not very realistic in their flavouring. Choose a NET (naturally extracted tobacco) e-juice which derives its flavour from tobacco leaves.
- Vape regularly – this will help you to quit completely.
- Carry on vaping until you are satisfied. Vaping is less efficient at getting nicotine into your body than smoking, so you may need to vape for longer periods to get the same sense of satisfaction. Try inhaling for longer and more slowly than you do normally with cigarettes.
Once you have successfully made the switch, you then need to start reducing the amount of nicotine in your e-juice as quickly as you can. You can do this by choosing e-liquids with a lower concentration of nicotine, however if you find that by lowering the amount of nicotine in your e-juice you are more tempted to turn back to the cigarettes, choose a higher level. It is more important to stop smoking tobacco than to reduce your e-liquid nicotine content and if you require some nicotine in your system in order to steer clear of your old habit, don’t put yourself under undue pressure during your pregnancy.