Pregnant mums ignoring smoking advice
5 February 2009
MORE than one-in-five pregnant women are continuing to smoke up until they give birth.
Local health bosses have now launched a campaign to support mums-to-be and get them the help they and their unborn babies need.
Despite recent figures showing that North East England has fewer smokers than ever before, the region still has the highest rate of pregnant women smoking at the time of delivery with 22 per cent compared to the national average of 14 per cent.
In recent years Hartlepool has averaged more than 1,000 births a year, which equates to more than 200 mum-to-be smoking each year in the town.
Judith Rees, Specialist Stop Smoking Advisor – Pregnancy, at the Stockton and Hartlepool NHS Stop Smoking Services said: "A lot of the women we see are worried they are going to get nagged about their smoking and made to feel guilty. But we're there to provide them with all the encouragement and support they need to quit.
"We understand that quitting can be very difficult - even more so when you are pregnant.
"We're always delighted to see a pregnant mum taking the step to quit and seeking support for the sake of her and the baby – it gives them a far better chance of stopping successfully than just using will-power alone.
"But we always encourage the woman's partner, friends and family to be supportive and quit as well."
New research from the NHS Stop Smoking Service reveals how the social stigma around smoking during pregnancy can have a negative impact on the willingness of pregnant smokers to seek help, with 28 per cent of pregnant smokers admitting they would like to seek support to stop, but are worried about being judged.
A further 38 per cent of pregnant smokers say they sometimes hide their smoking as they are worried about people criticising them and 39 per cent admit that they are ashamed to admit that they smoke to their midwife or healthcare professional.
The NHS Pregnancy Smoking Helpline - 0800 169 9 169 - offers a free and friendly service that provides practical advice about stopping smoking. Pregnant women can sign-up to receive regular phone calls which provide flexible ongoing support and encouragement.
In addition, there are more than 1,000 locations where smokers can access NHS Stop Smoking Services in the North East, offering a range of services.
Pregnant women need to understand the dangers that smoking can do to their unborn child. By continuing to smoke they are harming the foetus. Smoking cessation specialists at The Harley Street Stop Smoking Clinic use a unique form of advanced hypnotherapy to stop smoking. In one session, the majority of smokers quit smoking for good. Give your baby the best chance in life and quit smoking now by talking to one of the hypnotherapists at the London Stop Smoking Clinic.
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