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More smoking mums-to-be in Cambridgeshire

By John Cowley

Womens fertility declines with age
Womens fertility declines with age

A study shows over ten per cent of mums-to-be smoked throughout their pregnancy.

More than one in 10 women in Cambridgeshire are ignoring health warnings by smoking during pregancy, according to NHS figures.

There were 2,553 pregnancies in the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS commissioning area in the second quarter of 2017, and 285 mothers (11.7 per cent) smoked throughout their pregnancy.

This was down from 11.8 per cent in the same period last year but it has risen from 10.6 per cent four years ago, bucking the national trend of a gradual improvement from 12.2 per cent in 2013 to 10.7 per cent this year.

Pregnant smokers are key targets of the Department of Health’s tobacco strategy. Smoking restricts the flow of oxygen to the unborn child which can lead to complications during labour, increased risk of miscarriage and stillbirth. The NHS wants to reduce the number of mothers who smoke while pregnant to 6 per cent – revised down from 11 per cent earlier this year.

Dr Liz Robin, director of public health at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “Since April, 230 referrals were made to the stop smoking service and, of these, 50 people began the nationally recognised standard treatment programme including one-to-one support, regular carbon monoxide testing and nicotine replacement therapy medication on prescription, and 70 per cent have successfully become non-smokers while pregnant.

“Stopping smoking in pregnancy is one of the best things you can do to give your child a healthy start in life. Our public health team is working together with our commissioned stop smoking service CAMQUIT, local maternity leads and the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group to reduce smoking during pregnancy.

“This includes carbon monoxide screening as part of the maternity booking appointments, advice about the dangers of smoking and referral to stop smoking services who then provide free support.”


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