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Week-long focus to help pregnant women stop smoking

2019-09-09T15:47:57+01:00Monday 9 September 2019|
  • Image of pregnant woman with cigarette

Support available for pregnant women who want to stop smoking will be showcased during a week-long focus at Walsall Manor Hospital.

This week 9-13 September has been prompted by MatNeo, a national three year programme to support the quality and safety of maternity and neonatal units across England. The programme aims to improve the safety and outcomes of maternal and neonatal care aligned to the national ambition as set out in Better Births to reduce stillbirths by 20% by 2020.

This is achieved by supporting frontline staff in the process of continuous improvement, promoting an ongoing culture of safety and learning. Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust is taking part in Wave 3 of the programme and is working towards increasing the number of women who have smoke-free pregnancies. The trust is hoping to reduce smoking at time of delivery by 40% by March 2022

Emily Bissell, Deputy Care Group Manager – Gynaecology, Maternity and Sexual Health, said: “For the 2018/2019 period the trust saw 18% of our pregnant ladies were smokers.

“All would have been referred to our stop smoking service and of these, 60 quit smoking at four weeks and 42 quit at 12 weeks. We would really like to see this quit figure increasing and we hope this promotion week will go towards this’

“We want to use this week-long focus to encourage women to take up the offer of our 12 week programme of NHS support and treatment. We offer all forms of nicotine replacement products such as patches and gum. We have clinics throughout the borough or can offer a home visit if appropriate. You are four times more likely to quit the habit with NHS support and treatment.”

Emily and maternity services’ colleagues will have an information stand in Costa Coffee at the hospital between 9 and 13 September.

Every day a baby dies in the UK because their mother smoked in pregnancy.

Research shows that smoking in pregnancy may harm your baby in a number of different ways. These include:

  • a higher risk of miscarriage
  • a higher risk of premature birth
  • a greater chance of having a low-birthweight baby
  • a higher risk of stillbirth

Emily added: “Smoking when pregnant can also affect your child as he or she grows up. Children of smokers are more likely than children of non-smokers to have a range of health and behaviour problems,

“We want to support women to quit and reassure them that they won’t be judged if they ask for help. Smoking is an addiction and it can be difficult to give up without proper support and encouragement. We want to work with smokers to help them towards healthier choices that will have long term benefits for their own and their children’s health.”

Appointments for the 12 week NHS programme can be booked by calling 01922 270477

If you are not pregnant but still interested in stopping smoking you can call 01922 444044 for an appointment in the community.

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