Social Support

Being pregnant and attempting to quit smoking means you need lots of support. One of your most powerful tools is the group of people in your life that you can count on–your “social support system.” This may include your friends, family members, partner, faith community, neighbors, healthcare provider, and online groups.

 

How can people help you?

Take some time to write down the people in your life that you count on and ways they can help you. To make the best use of your support system, you need to tell these people what you need from them. Ask for help and be specific.

For Example:

My boyfriend: We can make a list of the household chores and divide them up
Mom: Ask for help babysitting so I can run to the store
Faith Group: Accept their offer to bring meals once a week

Surrounding yourself with positive people can make a world of different in your baby’s first year and with your quit smoking attempts. The people in your support system should make you feel good and supportive.

 

But what if they don’t?

Having an unsupportive family member or friends can make life harder than it needs to be. Here are tips for dealing with unsupportive people in your life:

  • Avoidance. In an ideal world, you would only be surrounded by positive people. If you can, while your baby is little and you’ve recently quit smoking, it might be best to avoid people who are unsupportive.
  • Keep conversations with difficult people neutral.
  • Set boundaries. Be clear with difficult people about what you are or are not willing to discuss.
  • If he/she keeps trying to get a rise out of you, it’s ok to acknowledge this. Stay calm and detached. Practice your breathing exercises.

If the unsupportive people in your life are abusive in any way (verbally or physically) you should get outside help. You and your baby deserve to be safe. Ask the people who do support you for their input.

 

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