The joint initiative between Tameside Hospital, Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council and Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust has led to the recruitment of a dedicated Stop Smoking Midwife to offer additional support to help pregnant women stop smoking.
Midwife Christine Bassett took up the new post on 1 April. Chris will be based in the community so she will be able to visit pregnant women in their own homes. She will also attendTamesideHospitalante-natal clinics to monitor carbon monoxide (CO) levels, which indicates whether the mother smokes and how much.
As well as getting individual support to kick the habit, mums-to-be can access nicotine replacement therapies such as patches, inhalators and gum to help with the physical cravings for FREE.
Chris said: “Historically the North West has had one of the worst rates of smoking in pregnant women.
“I am working alongside Tameside and Glossop Smokefree team, which has the highest quit rate in Greater Manchester. I will be supporting the good work the advisors already do to support pregnant women and their partners to stop smoking for the benefits to themselves, their unborn babies and young children within the household.
“We hope this will improve the stop smoking rates for the pregnant population of Tameside and Glossop.
“One group that’s particularly hard to reach is teenagers, so a part of my role will be to engage with this particular group and increase their awareness and knowledge around the dangers of smoking”
Lianne Kenyon, Smokefree Programme Manager for Pennine Care, added: “Chris's appointment will provide dedicated specialist support and education for pregnant smokers. The post will enable greater access and flexibility for clients, enhancing and strengthening the support already provided by stop smoking advisors and midwives”
Smoking in pregnancy has been linked to:
When you inhale smoke you are putting over 4,000 chemicals into your body. Three of the main components are tar, carbon monoxide and nicotine. Carbon monoxide, which is a poisonous gas, gets into your bloodstream and cuts down the oxygen reaching your baby. Babies who don’t get enough oxygen are born smaller and weaker.
Quitting at any stage of your pregnancy is the single best thing you can do for your health and the health of your unborn baby.
For more information ring the Health Improvement Service on 0161 366 2000.