Before, During or After Pregnancy, It’s Never Too Late to Quit Smoking

14 October 2020 3:32pm

Issued by Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin Sustainability and Transformation Partnership:

Stopping smoking is the single best thing a woman can do if pregnant. Smoking in pregnancy, and being around others who smoke can lead to devastating consequences such as stillbirth and cot death.

The percentage of women still smoking at the time of delivery, in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin continues to be higher than the national average. In 2019/2020, the percentage for the county was 13.3% compared to 10.4% for the whole of England.

Yvonne Hermon, Specialist Midwife and Smoking Cessation and Pregnancy Trainer for the Local Maternity System in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, said: “The earlier you stop smoking in pregnancy, the better, particularly before you reach 15 weeks pregnant.

“However, stopping at any time will reduce the risk of many avoidable problems with your baby’s growth and development in particular respiratory illness such as asthma, chest and ear infections and infections such as meningitis.

“Smoking isn’t good for you or your baby but knowing that doesn’t always make it any easier to quit. You may not be aware of the 4,000 chemicals you inhale from your cigarette or tobacco. One of the most dangerous is carbon monoxide which reduces the amount of oxygen in your baby’s blood, essential for their healthy growth and development.

“The good news is carbon monoxide is eliminated from your body within 24 hours of quitting, meaning your baby benefits from 100% oxygen and increased blood flow almost straight away.”

Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin have specialist teams available who can provide friendly and supportive advice and help to quit smoking.

Yvonne continued: “We have helped many smokers to quit, offering expert advice and support to mums-to-be and their families, with free nicotine replacement therapy to help with withdrawal symptoms from nicotine.”

“Alternatively, if you want to discuss the use of an e-cigarette to help you quit, we can advise you about their use in pregnancy. Although vaping is not risk free, we know it is around 95% safer than continuing to smoke tobacco, because they do not produce carbon monoxide or contain the 1000’s of harmful chemicals found in tobacco.”

Pregnant women can get support to stop smoking by speaking to their midwife who can refer them to the smoking cessation service or they can contact the teams directly on the following telephone numbers:

Telford & Wrekin – 01952 565732

Shropshire – 0345 6789 025