Mums-to-be need help to stop smoking

First published in News

MORE than 11,500 babies a year in Wales are potentially affected by their mothers smoking during pregnancy, according to a health charity.

And ASH Wales is now calling for all midwives and health visitors to be trained to advise women about quitting smoking, as part of their pre-registration training, in a bid to boost the support available for women wanting or attempting to give up.

A third of mums-to-be in Wales smoke at some point during their pregnancy, against a UK average of just over a quarter (26 per cent), and ASH Wales says this exposes 11,500 unborn babies to harm from tobacco every year.

No figures are available for individual council areas in Wales, in terms of smoking during pregnancy, but this is likely to be an issue in some parts of Gwent, which have among the highest rates of smoking in the country. What evidence there is suggests that 14 per cent of pregnant women in Gwent smoke through their pregnancy.

Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of stillbirth, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, premature birth, low birth weight and miscarriage.

One-to-one support can be provided to pregnant women by Stop Smoking Wales, but rates remain stubbornly high.

“Wales continues to have the highest rate of smoking in pregnancy in the whole of the UK,” said ASH Wales chief executive Elen de Lacy.

“Giving up smoking is hard on its own but with the added pressures of having a baby it is doubly challenging, which is why extra support is vital for pregnant women to help them give up.

“Midwives and health visitors are able to build close relationships with women, at home and in the community, and are often the best placed to support women throughout their pregnancies and afterwards.”

Four health boards, including Aneurin Bevan in Gwent, have been piloting a new programme called MAMSS (Models for Access to Maternal Smoking Cessation Support) in which staff such as midwives and maternity support workers provide support to quit smoking in women’s homes.More information on MAMSS is available at www.wales.nhs.uk/sitesplus/888/page/64809

Comments (3)

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3:25pm Fri 28 Mar 14

Caldicrap says...

Forget them giving up smoking, teach them to stop breading in the first place - suggest IQ tests and a basic compulsory course in contraception would be a good starting point!
Forget them giving up smoking, teach them to stop breading in the first place - suggest IQ tests and a basic compulsory course in contraception would be a good starting point! Caldicrap
  • Score: 1

5:01pm Fri 28 Mar 14

no-one owes you anything says...

Yes, breading is often an issue...if you're making a fish supper.
Breeding may be relevant to this? Sorry ;)
Anyway, they need to educate mothers regarding the risks. Anecdotal comments like it was ok for so and so are troubling. As are the persistent refusal to mention the potential damage that can be done by any woman looking to have children by smoking at anytime prior to pregnancy. Those eggs aren't going to appreciate it.
Could the RGH also please enforce their no smoking zones too? Not a bad place to start.
Yes, breading is often an issue...if you're making a fish supper. Breeding may be relevant to this? Sorry ;) Anyway, they need to educate mothers regarding the risks. Anecdotal comments like it was ok for so and so are troubling. As are the persistent refusal to mention the potential damage that can be done by any woman looking to have children by smoking at anytime prior to pregnancy. Those eggs aren't going to appreciate it. Could the RGH also please enforce their no smoking zones too? Not a bad place to start. no-one owes you anything
  • Score: 1

5:33pm Fri 28 Mar 14

Dai Rear says...

ASH isn't a "charity" in any real sense of the word. It's funded by the State, with our taxes to lobby....yes, the State. Frankly if women haven't observed that smoking is bad for unborn babies they aren't listening. The State is quite happy to make it as easy as possible though to kill those babies. Funny old world , ain't it?
ASH isn't a "charity" in any real sense of the word. It's funded by the State, with our taxes to lobby....yes, the State. Frankly if women haven't observed that smoking is bad for unborn babies they aren't listening. The State is quite happy to make it as easy as possible though to kill those babies. Funny old world , ain't it? Dai Rear
  • Score: 3

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