Pregnant mum to be Shannon Hughes (aged 17) stopped smoking during her pregnancy thanks to the support from George Eliot Hospital Maternity Unit and NHS Warwickshire Stop Smoking in Pregnancy Service.
Shannon Hughes gave up smoking not long after she found out she was pregnant. Following a referral from the maternity team at the George Eliot Hospital, she had an appointment arranged with a Specialist Stop Smoking in Pregnancy Advisor who visited Shannon regularly at home to offer free friendly advice, support and nicotine replacement medicines to help her to quit and give her baby the best start in life.
Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of harm to babies. Carbon monoxide from burning cigarettes enters the mum’s lungs and then quickly enters the baby’s bloodstream via the placenta, leaving less oxygen for baby to develop and grow properly. Each cigarette smoked deprives babies of oxygen for around 20 minutes, increasing their heart rate.
Stopping smoking during pregnancy can reduce the risk of miscarriage, premature birth, having smaller, weaker and underdeveloped babies. It can also reduce the risk of pre-term deaths, cot death and breathing problems after birth.
George Eliot Hospital recommends that all smokers including pregnant mums consider using the free specialist stop smoking services or try out the 28 day “Stoptober Challenge” which starts on 1st October.
Shannon from Nuneaton said: “I gave up with the help of the Stop Smoking in Pregnancy Advisor. I know that giving up smoking is better for me and my baby. My parents have given up too.”
Midwives can refer pregnant women to the Warwickshire Stop Smoking Service and a local Stop Smoking in Pregnancy Advisor will ring pregnant women to discuss all the options available. Smokers can also contact Warwickshire Stop Smoking service on 0800 085 2917 for more advice or to arrange an appointment. Help is also available throughout the year from local Stop Smoking Services, which can be found by visiting www.nhs.uk/smokefree.
The stop smoking in pregnancy service provides access to a local specialist stop smoking in pregnancy advisor, either at home or in a local pharmacy, regular appointments for support and advice throughout the pregnancy and free Nicotine Replacement Therapy
George Eliot Hospital will become a Smoke Free Site from 1 January 2016. This move to a totally smokefree site is based on guidance from NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) and George Eliot Hospital’s own commitment to lead the way and set an example in providing a totally smoke free environment.
During Stoptober people can go online and search for ‘Stoptober’ to sign up to the 28 day challenge, where there are a range of support tools to choose from including email, text and an app. If someone stops smoking for 28 days, they’re five times more likely to stay smokefree for good; they’ll also experience physical and health benefits, including a better sense of taste and smell. There are also financial benefits; a 20-a-day smoker can save up to £250 a month by taking part in Stoptober.
Anyone who wants to stop smoking can contact NHS Warwickshire Stop Smoking Service - 0800 085 2917, text free "LIFE" to 80800, www.smokefreewarwickshire.org - or the hospital stop smoking service on 02476 153071.