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Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Topic Tuesday: Smoking During Pregnancy

I know I haven't written one of these posts in a long time, but this topic is something that I feel extremely strongly about and as it has come into the news recently I wanted to have my say about it. If you haven't heard, Stacey Solomon of X-Factor and Iceland advertisement fame has been in the news over the last few days due to the revelation that, at seven months pregnant, she still smokes around three cigarettes a day.

The photo of Stacey smoking recently which sparked the huge debates

Due to the massive (in my opinion, totally deserved) backlash from the general public, Stacey has now been stripped of her Mum of the Year title and will no longer be running for this year's title either. I used to really like Stacey, I even wrote a post on how she had helped me come to terms with my PND, however, to me this is disgraceful behaviour on her part.

Stacey appearing on This Morning today to talk about how ashamed she is of her smoking

Today I came across hundreds of people, mainly women and even more shockingly, other mums, standing up for Stacey and justifying her actions on both Twitter and Facebook. I couldn't actually believe some of the things people were saying in her defence:

"Don't get why everyones havin a hissy at smokin while pregnant? There's people out there that do drink/drugs while pregnant!" 

"People are being harsh on a sneaky cigarette whilst pregnant, nobody is perfect!" 

"She smoked while pregnant? My mum smoked through all three of her pregnancies, get the fuck over it"

"I think it's harsh that the press have made be stripped of mother of the year for something, most mums do it..." (sic) 

That last one was the one that left me with my mouth open wide at how ignorant some people are. 'Most mums do it', really? I don't know anyone who smoked whilst pregnant. I am glad I don't. It makes me sick to think of the damage cigarette smoke does to an unborn baby who is powerless to stop their mother from poisoning them.

Don't get me wrong. I am not totally anti-smoking (I would never smoke myself but I can understand people become addicted to the habit), however, when you find out you're pregnant, whether planned or not, you owe the baby inside of you to stop smoking no matter what it takes. Of course it may not be safe to go 'cold turkey' as some of the pro-Stacey comments have been suggesting, however, Stacey is now seven months pregnant and found out a long time ago that she was expecting her second child. She has had plenty of time to stop smoking totally and I for one definitely don't feel that she should be applauded for 'making an effort at all' and cutting down from ten a day to 'just' two. For a start, she is already a mother to a little boy so in my opinion she shouldn't really have been smoking in the first place, let alone that many a day, and secondly because she obviously hasn't tried that hard to have only got to that stage of the quitting process in several months!

Before I found out I was pregnant, I had been drinking quite a bit of alcohol (it was over Christmas and New Year and I went to a lot of parties). As soon as I found out, I stopped drinking entirely. Although Cameron was not planned, I knew I didn't want to put him at risk no matter what. I felt extremely guilty about the alcohol I had drunk in early pregnancy, but I knew there was nothing I could do about it by then but stop drinking anymore and fortunately, Cameron was perfectly healthy when he was born. Some people are saying that non smokers have no idea how hard it is to quit but I am sorry, I find this an unacceptable excuse. If you are willing to carry a child in you, you must be willing to do everything in your power to stop anything from harming thatg baby. If those who aren't even pregnant are able to find the willpower to quit then there is no excuse for a pregnant woman.

Some are saying that the only reason Stacey is being targeted is because she is in the public eye. In some ways this may be true, of course we would not be as interested if it were someone who we didn't 'know' as we do Stacey. However, I would feel exactly the same way if I were to see a heavily pregnant woman smoking regardless of whether she were famous or not. On top of this, Stacey should be setting a good example as she IS in the public eye, and she gave up her right to not be subject of this kind of discussion about her actions when she decided to go onto the X-Factor. Everyone knows that once you become a star of reality TV you give up your privacy. She wasn't complaining about invasion of privacy when she was photographed recently at the Baby Show and given huge amounts of free baby products was she?

What probably disgusts me the most from all of this is the women who have commented saying that they smoked during their pregnancies and they have perfectly healthy children so what's the problem? One woman on MAM's Facebook status this afternoon said this:

"I smoked during both of my pregnancys i no they say u shudnt but both of my children and there both in perfect health giv her a break it never causes a big issue when a non celeb does it" (sic).

At least Stacey has been on This Morning today saying that she knows she is wrong for smoking during pregnancy and that she is ashamed of herself. These women actually have no shame for what they have done, putting their childrens health at risk. I find it disgraceful that there are women like this who have children when others aren't able to have kids at all.

I'm sorry if I have offended any of my readers with this post but it is something I feel very strongly about. I will not change my opinions.


  1. I totally agree with you! so many people I know used to smoke 10 a day or whatever..the day they find out they're pregnant they stop. I know I don't smoke but it's not hard for them to stop once they know they could be harming the baby.I, also, feel strongly on this. Really good post in my opinion! :) xxx

  2. I do agree with you, smoking whilst pregnant is a very selfish thing to do. My Mum smoked while she was pregnant with me, and although i do not hate my Mum for it, i do have asthma which i believe is likely to be due to this.

    Georgie <3

  3. Great post and I totally agree with you. I think it's disgusting to smoke in pregnancies as well as drink too much or do drugs-it's all harmful for the life inside you. I feel bad for Stacey because none of us are perfect and she obviously knows she's done wrong but I do think stripping her of her award was a bit extreme because we all make mistakes. That sound smoking in pregnancy is wrong and no excuse is good enough x


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