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Smoking Mums-to-be encouraged to stub it out

Shocking statistics released by NHS Scarborough and Ryedale CCG show that on average, one in five women who gave birth at Scarborough Hospital last year smoked during their pregnancy.  

This has led to the CCG, working closely with midwives at the hospital and the local stop smoking service, to launch a campaign to raise awareness of the potentially life-threatening consequences that smoking can have on their unborn child, along with the range of support available to help them quit.

Dr Peter Billingsley, local GP and lead for the campaign at the CCG, said: “The harsh truth is that smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of infant mortality by an estimated 40 percent. 

“Not only can it increase the risk of miscarriage, premature birth and still birth, but also lead to sudden unexpected death in infancy.

“By stopping smoking, not only will you reduce the risk of complications during birth, but also improve the health of your baby once it is born.”

To help encourage pregnant woman to kick the habit, community midwives in Scarborough have been given special training to educate women of the risks as well as using computer software to visualise the harmful effects that smoking is having on their baby.

Michala Little, Community Midwifery Manager for York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The community midwives at Scarborough are passionate about supporting women to stop smoking in pregnancy.

“Using unique software that gives a visual representation of CO levels in the baby’s blood, pregnant smokers are encouraged to learn more about the effects of smoking while pregnant and are referred for specialist support to quit.”

Following the intervention by the midwife, the pregnant woman is offered a referral to the stop smoking service, which is provided by Smoke Free Life North Yorkshire or the Health Trainers for women living in the East Riding of Yorkshire.

Anthony Bryce, Public Health Improvement Manager, for Smoke Free Life North Yorkshire, said: “The smoking in pregnancy advisors as part of the Smokefreelife North Yorkshire Service provide friendly and accessible, one to one motivational and behavioural support with a programme of treatment that is tailored to individual need. Partners or members of the family who smoke are also encouraged to attend.

“The programme is available throughout pregnancy and beyond and individuals are four times more likely to stop smoking for good with this service that provides quality support and guidance helping people to make a sustainable long-term quit.”

Further information regarding the Smokefreelife North Yorkshire Service can be found at www.smokefreelifenorthyorkshire.co.uk  or you can e-mail info@smokefreelifenorthyorkshire.co.uk. Alternatively you can call 0800 2465215 or text QUIT to 66777.

Further information regarding the health trainers can be found by visiting www.nhs-health-trainers.co.uk.

01 March 2016

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Further information regarding the Smokefreelife North Yorkshire Service can be found here.

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