Pregnant smokers double the national average in Lincolnshire town
Around 24 per cent of pregnant women who give birth at Boston Pilgrim Hospital smoke, according to new figures.
That is almost double the national average of 12 per cent.
Meanwhile, 14 per cent of mothers-to-be smoke across Lincolnshire.
It is estimated more than 500 pregnant women currently smoke in Boston.
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Now, Healthcare organisations from across the county are joining forces to raise awareness of the dangers of smoking during pregnancy, and help signpost women - and their families - to the support to quit that they need.
The stop smoking initiative is being supported by Lincolnshire County Council, the Phoenix Stop Smoking Service, Smokefree Lincs Alliance, Boston Borough Council, Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue and midwifery services for United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust.
Smoking throughout pregnancy increases the risks of miscarriage and can cause complications during pregnancy and childbirth.
Phil Garner, specialist programme manager for public health at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “The issue of women smoking during pregnancy remains a concern.
“Women who quit are more likely to have a healthier pregnancy and a healthier baby, will reduce the risk of stillbirth and are less likely to experience morning sickness.
“We have brought health partners together to make it as simple as possible for women to access the support they need.
“This isn’t just about quitting smoking, but about creating a safer, smoke-free home environment for the pregnancy and the early years of family life.”
Stephanie Heathcote, smoking cessation lead at Phoenix, which is part of Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust, added: “Reaching some mums remains a challenge but we have a strong partnership with the county’s midwifery service, who now offer routine carbon monoxide screening and can put pregnant women in touch with our specialist advisers.
“Quitting isn’t easy but we can make sure everyone has support which is right for them.”
If you want help and support to quit smoking, contact the Phoenix Stop Smoking Service on 0800 840 1533 or text ‘smokefree’ to 07786 205128.