Midwives help 15,000 mums-to-be to stop smoking


MIDWIVES and other NHS staff have helped almost 15,000 mums-to-be in England quit smoking during the last four years, according to new analysis by the health service.

Latest figures show that the smoking rate for pregnant women at the time of birth in 2021-22 fell to 9.1 per cent from 9.6 per cent in the previous year, which is the lowest annual rate on record. Since 2018-19, 14,758 fewer pregnant women were smokers at the time of birth than there would have been if the maternal smoking rate had remained unchanged.
Since 2019, as part of the NHS’s Long Term Plan (LTP), pregnant women are offered specialist advice to help quit smoking; and electronic carbon monoxide tests to check their exposure to harmful chemicals during their antenatal appointments.

Additional support offered by NHS maternity services to help pregnant smokers quit includes free nicotine replacement therapy and coaching for partners to support the whole family to stop smoking.
Smoking in pregnancy carries serious health risks – carbon monoxide in tobacco smoke reduces the amount of oxygen getting to the placenta and baby – which can lead to women going into labour early as well as increasing the chance of miscarriage, stillbirth and sudden infant death.
England’s most senior midwife says the action taken in maternity services is supporting new mums and their babies lead healthier lives.

Professor, Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, Chief Midwifery Officer for England, said: “Midwives and other members of maternity teams across England are working tirelessly to help mothers to give up smoking ensuring their babies get the very best start in life.
“Smoking can have devastating health implications for a mum and her baby, including increasing the risks of going into labour early, as well as an increased chance of miscarriage and stillbirth. This is why the support that thousands of mothers have already taken up to become smoke-free is so vitally important.
“From classes to help you stop to nicotine replacement therapy – the NHS Long Term Plan is rolling out action to help pregnant smokers quit, helping whole family lead healthier lives and crucially, cut the risk of stillbirth and save babies lives.”
Each year, the NHS spends around £2.5 billion on treating health issues caused by smoking.
The NHS has recently committed to an additional £127 million for maternity services across England over the next year, to help ensure services are providing safer and more personalised care for women and their babies.
Under the LTP, the NHS is accelerating action to reduce stillbirth by half, maternal mortality, neonatal mortality and serious brain injury by 2025.

The NHS is also bringing together England’s 42 Local Maternity Systems and local health organisations, clinicians and families together to make sure maternity services meet the needs of their communities, and therefore deliver continued improvements in outcomes.
Pregnant women looking for help with quitting smoking, can get support at https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/keeping-well/stop-smoking/


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  1. Pingback: Midwives help 15,000 mums-to-be to stop smoking – Gary Skentelbery | Quit smoking - Stop Now

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