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Quitting Smoking During Pregnancy: Beating Withdrawal

The first day after you quit smoking, as the nicotine leaves your body, you’re likely to notice symptoms of withdrawal. These are signs of your body recovering from smoking. For some people, withdrawal is mild. Others have a harder time. In any case, withdrawal should begin to lessen after the first few days. Use the 4 D’s listed below to beat withdrawal.

Common withdrawal symptoms 

Some of the most common withdrawal symptoms are as follows:


  • Snacking more

  • Getting headaches

  • Having trouble sleeping

  • Feeling anxious

  • Feeling cranky or restless

Use the 4 D’s

Withdrawal symptoms and smoking urges are strongest the first few days. Use the 4 D’s below to help when you crave a cigarette.



Inhale through your nose. Try to feel as if you are breathing into your stomach. Then slowly exhale all the air through your mouth. Repeat this 4 to 5 times. This can help calm the urge to smoke.

Drink water

This keeps your mouth fresh and flushes nicotine from your body.

Do something

File your nails. Learn a nursery rhyme. Write a note to a friend.


Put off smoking. The urge to smoke usually lasts only a brief time.


For more information

Here are some resources to contact:



  • National Cancer Institute Smoking Quitline: 877-44U-QUIT (877-448-7848)

Online Medical Reviewer: Kanipe, Jennifer, RN, BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Sacks, Daniel, MD, FACOG
Last Review Date: 8/16/2015
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