New mum with in law that's a heavy smoker

Hi I am a new mum with a 1 week old newborn. My husbands mum is a very heavy smoker & he has asked her to not smoke an hour before seeing the baby (as advised by all midwives & in our NCT class),

wear a change of clothes & wash hands etc. which apparently upset her. She came to see our newborn yesterday & I thought she still smelt of smoke & it upset me to see her holding our baby.

The thing is I know she can't go an hour without having a cigarette & thinks that we are worrying about nothing as she smoked around her children when they were born, so I don't trust her not to have had a cigarette before she left home to see us (she only lives 10 minutes away).

I leave it to my husband to deal with as he will always put our baby's best interests first but at what's meant to be a happy time it's causing me a lot of stress & I dread them coming round to see the baby or the thought of a family gathering where she is likely to smoke.

Does anyone have any advice or experience on how to deal with this situation?

10 Replies

  • I know where you're coming from, but unfortunately can't give much advice as my mother in law is v stubborn. My husband is trying to convince her to at least use the e cigarettes(not around the baby of course!) which should be safer although there isn't s lot of information out there as they're fairly new. honestly we've been asking her to stop for years but I doubt that's going to happen. Although we advised her we won't have her babysit (which shed love to do) whilst she's still smoking... Maybe it's a incentive!

  • Alls that are in ecigs are nicotine, flavouring and liquid glycerine which is a lot safer than the hundreds of toxins in a cigarette. Infact there are more toxins in car exhausts. So the ecig is a good option as an alternative. Also ecigs evaporate as liquid into the air hence being called vapourizing. They do not go into fabrics or clothing either so people who use them don't stink as its not smoke it vapour.

  • Thanks for your comments. It's good to know of others in the same situation. My husband has also suggested that his mum uses E cigs. but she reacted very defensively to the whole conversation so I'm not sure what the situation is going to be if we spend longer than an hour together. I guess we have to have another conversation with her about it.

  • Good luck! Hopefully she's less stubborn than my mother in law!

  • Hi Newmum90, congratulations on the birth of your baby. Your husband is in a difficult position as his Mum is heavily addicted to smoking. She is not intentionally upsetting any of you but is so addicted and knows what to do but is mentally not strong. My DH was a smoker when we met and started when he was 18, he is almost 40 years. He has tried several times to give up with help I.e patches, sprays e.t.c and didn't succeed. He never smoked at home and had the last cig 3 hours before coming in, sleeping separately when we have a baby in the same room e.t.c its been a struggle until he got a healthy scare. He had a painful throat which was not improving and has had it for 2 months and convinced himself that he probably have a bigger problem. Anyway Gp wasn't too concerned. What am trying to say is that smoking Is a horrible dirty habit and blinds people up that they can't even see sense until some damage is done. Being someone from a health care background I found it hard to understand but now I do. DH only quit after a health scare, my tactics never worked. Your mother in law needs help but be patient with her and when your DH is on good terms with her ask him to remind his Mum of the health risks without making a big deal out of it and say that you both care about her and that you want her to be around as long as possible to see het grand kids grow up, it is very difficult but people only quit when they are ready or in our case when he thought that he was getting throat cancer. Good luck

  • Thanks for your advice Sumaria. It's good to hear your husband took all the precautions he could around your newborn when he did smoke & that he has finally managed to quit. I think I will get my husband to have another chat with his mum so we can find a way round this & spend time together. Guess it may take a few conversations but hopefully we'll get there.

  • Oh gosh how difficult for you! Think it's so lovely how yourelf and your other half stick together as I could quite imagine him feeling like piggy in the middle. It seems as if you have tried to be sensitive and that you are only following the guidelines of the information that you have. Your mother in law may have changed her clothes but as she smokes like a trouper it's a sad fact that the smoke smell would have seeped into all get belongings weather they be freashly laundered or out of the walldrobe. I really do hope you can sort something. Sorry I couldn't really offer advice good luck

  • Thanks for your comments. I am very lucky my husband is with me on this as it is very tricky for him.

  • Ask your midwife / health visitor for some leaflets about the effects of smoke and a baby / child. Maybe when she actually reads first hand the info and not just thinks the family are nagging ( Def not that u are!) she may well acknowledge what she needs to be doing.

  • yes I am a ex smoker and my mum does still smoke. I find it difficult but she is usually pretty good. Maybe you should say like I did with my mum rather than say it doesn't smell nice say that more with health implications. It's no longer her choice it is her grandchild that she needs to think of. Hope it all goes well. It's not easy giving up smoking or not having one for a while but you find it's easier to give up or not do it for something so precious x

You may also like...