How to Talk to your Health Care Provider
A health care provider can be a doctor, nurse, midwife or doula. It can be hard to talk to your health care provider about smoking. Many people feel uncomfortable about it.
Here are some reasons it can be difficult:
- A doctor, nurse, midwife or doula’s training and knowledge can be intimidating.
- It may feel like they are "too busy to listen".
- Bringing up smoking to them can feel like you are bothering them about problems that are “too small” or “silly”.
- Some women want to keep their smoking private.
- It might be scary to hear about the negative effects of smoking.
- You may worry they will be upset or disappointed with you for smoking.
- Some women might think that they shouldn't have to get help to quit smoking.
- Smoking and pregnancy seems private and personal. Some women are embarrassed to admit to their health care provider that they are still smoking while they are pregnant.
For all of these reasons and more, women often decide not to talk to their health care provider about these challenges. In fact, many women walk away from their doctor, nurse, midwife or doula’s office without having talked about what they really wanted to talk about.
You may be nervous or uncomfortable talking to your health care provider about smoking. This may stop you from getting the support you need. Your health care provider should be able to give you lots of helpful suggestions, referrals to local programs, support and encouragement.
If you worry about talking about your smoking with your health care provider, remember:
- They are not too busy to listen to you.
- They are trained to help.
- They want to help.
- Your concerns about smoking are not "too small" or "too silly".
- Some people may have thought they could just "snap out of it" and "quit cold turkey", so they are embarrassed to bring it up. But your health care provider knows it is hard to quit or reduce smoking.
Most people say that getting help with quitting or reducing was the hardest thing they ever did. Most people also say that getting help was the best thing they ever did. Talking to your health care provider can be a first step towards getting control of your smoking. Most people feel a little better right away, just from telling their health care provider about their smoking.
Your health care provider can help you quit or reduce smoking in a way that fits your life and who you are as a person.
Even if you are ready to talk to your health care provider about smoking, they might not listen or give you the support you need. If you are not getting the help you need, try talking to a different health care provider. There are many people who can give you the support and information you need about smoking including: doctors, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, social workers, counsellors and more.