Smoking is not only bad for you, it’s bad for your baby, too. If you smoke during your pregnancy, your baby could be born low birth-weight or have health problems later on. In Baltimore City, babies who are exposed to smoke
in the womb are 5x more likely to die from SIDS than babies not exposed to cigarette smoke. But any kind of smoke is bad for your baby -- cigarettes, cigars, e-cigs, vapes, and marijuana.
Explore this page to learn more about why it's important to be smoke free for your baby, common concerns, tips for quitting, and smoking cessation support.
Every day that you do not smoke, you are doing something great for yourself and your baby -- you should be proud of yourself. To fully protect your baby, your baby’s daycare center or caregiver’s home should be smoke-free as well.
If you're pregnant and you smoke...
If you quit during pregnancy, your baby is more likely to:
Be born healthy
Have strong lungs that work well
Be less fussy and develop fewer earaches
Get sick less.
And you will:
Have more energy and breathe more easily
Save money that you can spend on other things
Have better smelling hair and clothes
Enjoy the taste of your food more
Feel good knowing you’ve done something great for yourself and your baby.
Everything changes when you’re pregnant. Now is the time to quit.
This fun activity includes a cardboard box filled with surprises such as peanut butter, yummy treats, and even a fun toy. These items are placed in a box, stuffed with an assortment of challenging items such as smaller boxes, newspaper, and paper towel or toilet paper tubes and then taped shut so your dog can rip, tear, and snuffle their way to finding their own yummy treats. The licking and foraging involved in this fun activity releases hormones that effectively calm and satisfy your dog assuring a feeling of calm and relaxation. Most dogs enjoy a nice long, restful nap after completing this activity.
Dinner in a Box
This fun activity is much the same as a party box but instead of just yummy treats and challenging items being placed in the box, we also place your dog’s dinner inside. We only provide these boxes for dinner as they are a fantastic way for your dog to use up their last bits of mental, emotional, and physical energy before heading out for their final potty of the night and then getting a great night’s sleep.
Nose Work Activity
This activity assures your dog uses their very specialized nose to find yummy treat which increases calming hormones and decreases stress hormones. We will customize the course to your dogs ability so they, succeed and have a blast. Whether they are novice and only using cups and paper plates or advanced and using our specialized equipment, they are assured to have a sniff-a-licious good time!
Confidence Work Activity
What dog couldn’t use an extra boost to their confidence? Choose this option and we will play games with your dog that offer your pup the opportunity to try something new, make a choice to move something, place their feet on a new surface, solve an access problem…all sorts of fun activities where your dog gets to try and SUCCEED! This is so much fun and the end result is a boost in confidence!
We have offered this option for many years and dogs LOVE it! Your dog will go on a special walk with one of our Caretakers, off property. We are fortunate to have areas around us with woods, a ravine, and plenty of sniffing opportunities. This option gives your dog a chance to stretch their legs and go somewhere where the sniffs and sights are new and fantastic! We also include on-leash manners work with this option by using choice sits as well as turn games to help your dog walk nicely while on leash.
One on One Playtime
This is another enrichment option we have offered for many years that the dogs LOVE! One of our Caretakers will play with your dog using their favorite activities. Fetch? No problem. Chasing water from the hose? We can do that! Running around the yard and playing on the play equipment? Ooooo, that’s fun! Whatever activities your dog enjoys will be combined with some impulse control work such as calm sits, wait work, and attention to work not only your dog’s body but their brain as well.
Cuddle & Snuggle Time
This is by far, is one of our Caretaker’s favorite enrichment activities. I’m not sure who is more enriched, our Caretaker or your pup. This is a special one on one time where your dog will receive massage, belly and ear rubs, and plenty of snuggles along with some easy, calming enrichment games that promote relaxation and emotional satisfaction. Truth be told, I have had to wake up a Caretaker from time to time who had fallen asleep snuggled up to the pup they were cuddling with.
This Enrichment Activity has been given 4-Paws by all of the dogs who have participated. We fill a large bone shaped pool with toys, rags, plastic water bottles and other appropriate obstacles. Then we sprinkle chicken throughout and let the dog do the rest. We can increase or decrease the difficulty by adding/deleting different obstacles, scents, and toys. Dogs love searching, digging, snuffling, and finding all the yummy chicken. Sometimes they take a break, grab a toy and want to play, which is a-ok with us! This is their discovery pool and whatever they find is a WIN!
Splish Splash Pool
This Enrichment Activity is all about water fun! We can only offer this activity when the temperature is 70+ degrees. We fill our large bone shaped pool full of cool, refreshing water and your dog gets to choose their water activity. Do they like to dive for a toy? How about bobbing for hotdogs? Chasing a spray of water in and out of the pool? Even just lounging in the cool water and enjoying the hot sun on their face. So much fun for water loving dogs!
Patience is a Virtue Game
This game works on impulse control. If your dog hears "leave it" and moves fast to take it, then this is the game for them. If your dog gulps their food down like it is their last meal, then this game is for them. If your dog has one speed...hyperdrive...then this game is for them. Our Patience game works on teaching dog how to CHOOSE to be patient around the things they want. We use fun games and choice to offer your dog a variety of options to slow down and think. This fun activity burns more energy than a 5 mile jog through the park. It has an added bonus of raising confidence as anxiety is decreased though brain games.
Quitting Smoking: Common Concerns and Myths
Tips for Quitting
Congratulations on making the important first step to better health for you and your baby. The best strategy is to set a plan and to take quitting one day at a time.
Getting Ready to Quit
Plan a date to quit smoking and work toward it.
Ask for help. Tell your friends, family, and doctor about your plan to stop smoking.
Throw away all cigarettes, ashtrays, and lighters.
Plan how you will deal with stress—listen to music, take a walk, or talk to a friend who doesn’t smoke.
Reward yourself. Put a quarter in a jar for every cigarette you skip. Use the money to treat yourself.
Keep yourself motivated. Write down why you are quitting and remind yourself about it daily.
Not ready to quit? Try skipping 3 or 4 cigarettes a day.
If you're planning to quit smoking, identifying people to support you is key to your success. Those people can be friends and family, or you can reach out to organizations in Baltimore City who are here to support you on your quit journey.
Talk to other birthing families about dealing with stress.
Patterson Park North & East:
Smoking Cessation MD Quitline
You can earn gift cards for calling the Quitline while you are pregnant and after your baby is born.
Smoking Cessation Classes
Referrals to smoking cessation counseling and classes.