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Substance Use: Pregnancy and Quitting Smoking

Weight Gain

​​​​I’m afraid I’ll gain weight

Some women are afraid to quit smoking because they don’t want to gain more weight. Smoking is much worse for your health (and your baby’s health) than gaining some weight. Gaining a small amount of weight is normal for anyone when quitting smoking. It is often temporary and can be managed. You can reduce your hunger pains by eating at least three healthy meals a day. For some people​, eating smaller amounts more than three times a day works best. Try to eat more whole-grain foods, as they make you feel full longer.

It’s normal to gain weight when you’re pregnant. A healthy weight gain tells us that your baby is growing and developing. Women who gain a healthy amount of weight tend to produce more breastmilk. Your healthcare provider will tell you how much weight to gain during your pregnancy. Your provider can also help you manage your weight if you gain more than is healthy for you and your baby. If you’re worried about your weight, talk to your provider about what changes you can make, such as physical activity or changes in diet. Healthy eating and being more active can help manage your weight and improve your health. Think positive and keep temptations away:

  • Don't try to quit during the holidays. You're likely to eat more.
  • Talk to your healthcare provider about making regular activity a part of your life. Walking is a great form of exercise. Find an exercise partner or a walking group to stay active and fit.
  • Remind yourself every day how much healthier you are since you quit.

Remember, looking and feeling good are much more important than how much you weigh. Being smoke-free means breathing easier, feeling healthier, smelling cleaner, having fresh breath, and not having tobacco stains on your fingers and teeth. All of these things make you look and feel more attractive.

Current as of: September 5, 2019

Author: Tobacco Reduction Program, Alberta Health Services