Hundreds of women smoked during pregnancy in Greater Preston, South Ribble and Chorley last year, figures reveal.Advertisement
NHS Digital data shows 10.7 per cent of mums who gave birth between April and September 2019 in these areas were smokers, representing 214 out of the 1,999 maternities recorded during that time. This is above the 10.4 per cent national average for mothers who smoke at the time of delivery.
As well as being a leading cause of cancer, smoking during pregnancy causes particular health problems for women and even death for their babies, as well as leading to complications in adulthood as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning.
When pregnant women stop smoking, both mother and baby will feel the benefits immediately. Carbon monoxide and other chemicals will quickly leave the body. This means that there’ll be more oxygen in the blood, making mother and baby much healthier.
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NHS Greater Preston Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Chorley and South Ribble CCG are urging pregnant women to use the NHS support that is available to quit the habit.
Dr Lindsey Dickinson, Chair and Clinical Leader, NHS Chorley and South Ribble CCG said: “Having a baby in this country is now safer than ever but smoking while carrying a baby puts both parent and child at avoidable and potentially deadly risk. So, quitting smoking is absolutely vital for a healthy mum and a healthy baby.
“The risks of smoking during pregnancy are serious, from premature delivery to increased risk of miscarriage, stillbirth or sudden infant death. No matter what stage women are in their pregnancy, it’s never too late to stop smoking. It can be difficult, but smoking is much more harmful to the baby than any stress quitting may bring.”
The NHS offers lots of specialist free support to help women stop smoking in pregnancy. Pregnant women can get free expert support from a trained adviser at their local Stop Smoking Service. Nearly half of pregnant women who set a quit date with their local Stop Smoking Service go on to quit successfully.
Women can also register with Smokefree. Start4Life has lots of helpful tips and advice for a healthy pregnancy, and smokers can also benefit from a free personal quit plan.
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