Mom puts out her cigarettes after finding out she's pregnant

By  | 

The American Pregnancy Association says more than 1,000 babies die every year because mothers smoke while they are pregnant. It cites studies showing anywhere from 12 to 20 percent of pregnant women smoke. But Laura Flegel didn't want that outcome. She smoked for 10 years, but when she found out she was pregnant she quit that day.

This is 7-month-old Lily. Her mom Laura says a pregnancy wasn't the only change Lily brought to the family. She quit smoking when she got pregnant, changing her whole routine in one day.

"That's usually when I would smoke is when I was emotional or had stuff going on. So I had to kind of find different things to do,” said Flegel.

Laura couldn't use medication because of the pregnancy, but after Lily was born- she didn't go back to smoking.

"It's just a great feeling to have been able to quit and for her to never see me as a smoker is a big deal to me,” said Flegel.

To stop smoking, she had help from Sanford's Baby and Me- a national program the department of health brought into North Dakota. The program works with hundreds of moms across the state. The program has more than a health incentive.

"The mom comes into us once a month and we test them to make sure they're still tobacco free and then we'll give them a $50 diaper voucher that they can use on diapers and wipes. Any type, any kind,” said Jody Vogel, a respiratory therapist with Sanford Health.

Vogel says the program is getting more effective each year, but the 6-month success rate sits around 40 percent. Vogel says they're going to be doing more training to increase that number, including addressing issues with vaping. She expects that number to grow.

Flegel has remained smoke free.