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Midlands health visitors in new smoking cessation drive

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Health visitors and smoking cessation experts at Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust have joined forces to launch a new service for pregnant women and their families.

The Stop Smoking in Pregnancy service has seen the two teams come up with a combined approach designed to prepare women for pregnancy, birth and caring for a new baby with advice and information on quitting smoking.

“Even if they don’t smoke themselves, women still need to know about the impact”

Paula Mallen

The initiative has seen smoking cessation advice provided as part of sessions delivered in Solihull by the trust’s health visitor team, which also focus on the physical and emotional health of expectant mums and other key information about pregnancy and bonding with baby before and after birth.

The stop smoking in pregnancy element was included for the first time at the Solihull group antenatal session on 22 March – with health visitors and the stop smoking team joining up to offer advice and provide information.

The trust noted it was an “added extra” on the last of the five antenatal sessions provided to the group.

However, it said the two teams would also be setting up a special catch up session for the mothers-to-be and their partners to provide stop smoking in pregnancy advice.

Bringing antenatal and smoking cessation sessions together was also useful for women who do not smoke, noted Stop Smoking in Pregnancy team lead Paula Mallen, herself a health visitor.

She said: “Even if they don’t smoke themselves, women still need to know about the impact that smoking can have on their pregnancy and new born infant.

“This means that expectant mums, fathers and partners now have everything they need to know about pregnancy, birth and their baby within a single group, while at the same time supporting those pregnant women to quit smoking,” she said.

“It also raises awareness among non-smokers of the impact that passive smoking has on pregnant mums and new born babies,” she added.

To celebrate the new partnership, mothers-to-be attending the five-week antenatal group were treated to hand, foot and back massages, make-up and the chance to have their baby bumps painted by students from a local health and beauty college.

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