Swindon Advertiser15 per cent of pregnant women risk harming babies by smoking (From Swindon Advertiser)

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15 per cent of pregnant women risk harming babies by smoking

Swindon Advertiser: Pregnant women smoking are endangering their own and their babies’ health Pregnant women smoking are endangering their own and their babies’ health

MORE than 100 babies could suffer irreparable harm in Swindon after it emerged that nearly 15 per cent of all pregnant women in the town were still smoking at the time of giving birth earlier this year.

In the last quarter of 2013/2014 no fewer than 103 expectant mothers were found to be smoking at the time of delivery. This represented 14.6 per cent of all pregnant women about to give birth at the time.

This was the highest rate of smoking mothers in the Bath, Gloucestershire, Swindon and Wiltshire area, which stood overall at 11.3 per cent and two per cent higher than the national average of 12 per cent.

The alarming figure raised concerns among health professionals who warned of the dangers of smoking during pregnancy for the foetus.

Cigarettes can restrict the essential oxygen supply to the baby, so their heart has to beat harder every time their mother smokes.

On average, babies of smokers are 200g lighter than other babies. A low birth weight adds to the risks of stillbirth, and makes babies weaker and at greater risk of disease with a higher risk of hearing loss, learning difficulties and sight problems, as well as cerebral palsy.

As they grow older, they are more likely to get infections, such as inflammation of the middle ear, and have health conditions that require hospital treatment, such as asthma.

Cherry Jones, Swindon Council acting director of public health, said the local authority was determined to raise awareness of the risks for expectant mothers.

“Smoking in pregnancy can cause various serious health problems for the baby, such as low birth weight, premature birth and placenta complications,” she said. “It can, tragically, even result in death. “That’s why we are committed to reducing its prevalence in Swindon and have measures in place to achieve this. “These latest quarterly figures are a concern and we are working with the SEQOL Swindon Stop Smoking Service, local GPs and the maternity service at GWH to ensure women have all the information and support they need.

“For instance, we have a specialist midwife who provides one to one support for women who want to stop. “All pregnant women also receive stop smoking information from their community midwife, who offer advice and support, explain the dangers and refer to the specialist service. “Overall, 80 per cent of women who use this service successfully quit, although the service is optional.

“We therefore continue to raise awareness of the harmful effects of smoking both for the mother and baby, and the help available. “Pregnant women who receive support are more likely to quit, so I encourage them to call on the support, which is free and proven to be effective.”

Not only is smoking harmful to the unborn child but it can increase the risk of complications during pregnancy.

Quitting means mothers-to-be will have less morning sickness and fewer complications in pregnancy, and can reduce the risk of stillbirth. It will also reduce the risk of cot death, which is increased by at least 25 per cent by smoking during pregnancy.

For more information and advice about how to quit call freephone 0800 3892229 or 01793 465513, text 07881281797 or email besmokefree@seqol.org

Comments (6)

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8:16am Sat 31 May 14

pastor_of_muppets says...

Smoking during pregnancy is tantamount to child abuse and should be illegal. You would be committing child abuse if you physically forced a baby or child to smoke a cigarette and smoking yourself during pregnancy should be considered just as bad. I cannot put into words how disgusting it is
Smoking during pregnancy is tantamount to child abuse and should be illegal. You would be committing child abuse if you physically forced a baby or child to smoke a cigarette and smoking yourself during pregnancy should be considered just as bad. I cannot put into words how disgusting it is pastor_of_muppets
  • Score: 5

9:13pm Sat 31 May 14

scottwichall says...

pastor_of_muppets wrote:
Smoking during pregnancy is tantamount to child abuse and should be illegal. You would be committing child abuse if you physically forced a baby or child to smoke a cigarette and smoking yourself during pregnancy should be considered just as bad. I cannot put into words how disgusting it is
So before the anti-smoking industry cranked into full gear, all of those mothers who smoked to term in the 30's, 40's 50's and 60's should be considered child abusers? If you were born in these decades, and your mothers smoked I suggest you face to face call them child abusers, if you have the stones for it.

A 200g birthweight difference as mentioned in this article is insufficient to cause any health concerns as this is well within natural variability. And no, you do not need a PhD in policy driven evidence creation to see what is right in front of your eyes.

Leave pregnant mothers alone, they have enough to deal with without this kind of guilt trip being put upon them. In fact, I would argue if a mother is stressed, and her smoking drastically reduces this stress level, this is actually far better for mother and child. Simple common sense really which is sadly lacking from anyone following the mantra's and lies of the pinch faced anti everything lobby.

In fact, I would be far more concerned about all the improperly tested pharmaceutical products that we are all pumped full of harming us and our children, let alone all of the petrochemicals we are surrounded by. How else do you explain drastic falls in smoking prevalence and general exposure to smoke in the home, including open fires etc and the current rise in asthma's and other child allergies? You can no longer roll out the canard of smoking being the root of all diseases, you should research up on cancer clusters around heavy industry locations, and major traffic areas (hint, PM 2.5's and diesel particulates)
[quote][p][bold]pastor_of_muppets[/bold] wrote: Smoking during pregnancy is tantamount to child abuse and should be illegal. You would be committing child abuse if you physically forced a baby or child to smoke a cigarette and smoking yourself during pregnancy should be considered just as bad. I cannot put into words how disgusting it is[/p][/quote]So before the anti-smoking industry cranked into full gear, all of those mothers who smoked to term in the 30's, 40's 50's and 60's should be considered child abusers? If you were born in these decades, and your mothers smoked I suggest you face to face call them child abusers, if you have the stones for it. A 200g birthweight difference as mentioned in this article is insufficient to cause any health concerns as this is well within natural variability. And no, you do not need a PhD in policy driven evidence creation to see what is right in front of your eyes. Leave pregnant mothers alone, they have enough to deal with without this kind of guilt trip being put upon them. In fact, I would argue if a mother is stressed, and her smoking drastically reduces this stress level, this is actually far better for mother and child. Simple common sense really which is sadly lacking from anyone following the mantra's and lies of the pinch faced anti everything lobby. In fact, I would be far more concerned about all the improperly tested pharmaceutical products that we are all pumped full of harming us and our children, let alone all of the petrochemicals we are surrounded by. How else do you explain drastic falls in smoking prevalence and general exposure to smoke in the home, including open fires etc and the current rise in asthma's and other child allergies? You can no longer roll out the canard of smoking being the root of all diseases, you should research up on cancer clusters around heavy industry locations, and major traffic areas (hint, PM 2.5's and diesel particulates) scottwichall
  • Score: -7

8:18am Sun 1 Jun 14

house on the hill says...

My neighbour is about 8 months pregnant and still smoking like a trooper as is her husband, disgusting irresponsible woman that she is. Why would you want to treat your own child like that and the other poor child is regularly shouted and sworn at! Disgraceful parents who should never be allowed to breed!

Smoking in general is just natural selection, lets face it you have to be pretty stupid and brainless to spend money and stick burning leaves in your mouth and lungs, knowing it will always have an adverse effect on your health, more than likely shorten your life and quality of it and make you stink! But then being massively overweight which you have full control over is pretty stupid too and dangerous to the health of your unborn child and obese kids are child abuse in my eyes too.

No one cares, just look around, obesity on the rise, binge drinking, etc Way too many uncaring irresponsible parents out there, but no doubt someone will come on and say they are all victims.
I gave up on society ages ago
My neighbour is about 8 months pregnant and still smoking like a trooper as is her husband, disgusting irresponsible woman that she is. Why would you want to treat your own child like that and the other poor child is regularly shouted and sworn at! Disgraceful parents who should never be allowed to breed! Smoking in general is just natural selection, lets face it you have to be pretty stupid and brainless to spend money and stick burning leaves in your mouth and lungs, knowing it will always have an adverse effect on your health, more than likely shorten your life and quality of it and make you stink! But then being massively overweight which you have full control over is pretty stupid too and dangerous to the health of your unborn child and obese kids are child abuse in my eyes too. No one cares, just look around, obesity on the rise, binge drinking, etc Way too many uncaring irresponsible parents out there, but no doubt someone will come on and say they are all victims. I gave up on society ages ago house on the hill
  • Score: 1

8:31am Mon 2 Jun 14

A.Baron-Cohen says...

Isn't it strange that it is currently legal for a mother to harm her child?
Isn't it strange that it is currently legal for a mother to harm her child? A.Baron-Cohen
  • Score: 4

10:34am Mon 2 Jun 14

CocoaClown says...

It is beyond me why mothers (and fathers) would smoke around their children. However, they all seem to be of the same view that it does me no harm.... yet of course. I've seen a couple of pregnant mums have a sneaky cigarette hiding behind buildings etc so they obviously know it's not right yet continue to do it. If you really wanted what was best for your baby/child you would do all you could and give up. If someone told me I would need to loose a leg for my child to be healthy, I would sacrifice myself for their health.

The sad thing is (some) people see no problem in it and continue to do it while pregnant and once baby is born. I've seen people pushing prams with a cigarette in their hand and puffing out smoke towards their tiny babies.

I can't imagine anyone not knowing the dangers to their health let alone to unborn babies and other children. Yes many many years ago parents smoked while pregnant and around their children, but I'm pretty sure still birth rates were higher as was infant death.

I've also heard people say that giving up would be worse for the health of the mother due to the stress etc but yet to be shown any evidence/research of this. Can it really be worse than pumping your baby full of smoke?
It is beyond me why mothers (and fathers) would smoke around their children. However, they all seem to be of the same view that it does me no harm.... yet of course. I've seen a couple of pregnant mums have a sneaky cigarette hiding behind buildings etc so they obviously know it's not right yet continue to do it. If you really wanted what was best for your baby/child you would do all you could and give up. If someone told me I would need to loose a leg for my child to be healthy, I would sacrifice myself for their health. The sad thing is (some) people see no problem in it and continue to do it while pregnant and once baby is born. I've seen people pushing prams with a cigarette in their hand and puffing out smoke towards their tiny babies. I can't imagine anyone not knowing the dangers to their health let alone to unborn babies and other children. Yes many many years ago parents smoked while pregnant and around their children, but I'm pretty sure still birth rates were higher as was infant death. I've also heard people say that giving up would be worse for the health of the mother due to the stress etc but yet to be shown any evidence/research of this. Can it really be worse than pumping your baby full of smoke? CocoaClown
  • Score: -1

9:31pm Mon 2 Jun 14

back_to_reality says...

Most of these low-lifes want the baby for the benefits they bring in, so are not going to be too concerned about their well being. In fact, if the baby is born with a disability then they can expect more perks and handouts, which is a bonus.
Most of these low-lifes want the baby for the benefits they bring in, so are not going to be too concerned about their well being. In fact, if the baby is born with a disability then they can expect more perks and handouts, which is a bonus. back_to_reality
  • Score: 1

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