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Expectant mums urged to quit smoking

05 Mar 2019 13:49:41

With National No Smoking Day on Wednesday 13 March, expectant mothers in Rotherham are being urged to give up smoking to improve the health of their unborn child.

Smoking can have a number of effects on the body and can increase the risk of developing more than 50 serious health conditions, with smoking accounting for 70% of cases of lung cancer.

For pregnant women, smoking puts the unborn child’s life at risk, as well as their own. Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of complications such as miscarriage, premature birth, a low weight baby and stillbirth.

Every cigarette contains more than 4,000 chemicals which can restrict essential oxygen from reaching the baby. This causes the baby’s heart to beat faster every time the mother smokes.

Once born, children whose parents smoke are also more likely to suffer with asthma and other serious illnesses that may require admission to hospital.

Passive smoking can also have implications for both babies and their mothers. Second hand smoke can reduce the baby’s birth weight and increase the risk of sudden infant death (cot death). Babies whose parents smoke are more likely to be admitted to hospital in their first year for bronchitis or pneumonia.

Wendy Griffith, Smoking in Pregnancy Lead Midwife at The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, says, “Giving up smoking as early as possible in pregnancy is one of the best things you can do for your child. Every time you smoke, the baby is starved of oxygen which can have serious implications on their health.

“It isn’t just a mother smoking that can harm a baby, if anyone else in the same property smokes, it can also have an impact.

“There are services and treatments available to help anyone give up smoking. Pregnant women can get help, advice and support from the antenatal clinic based in Greenoaks at Rotherham Hospital, their Community Midwife or they can contact the Stop Smoking in Pregnancy service on 01709 424058. Get Healthy Rotherham are also available to support anyone else in their efforts to quit.”

More information about the effects of smoking can be found on the NHS website: www.nhs.uk