Your health:

Pregnant and smoking? See a psychiatrist

Laura Johnson
Just how? How on earth can a mother do it? How can a woman continue to be a smoker when she is pregnant?

Is it because some people are just stupid? You are bearing the most precious gift of all, a new baby. More than that - it's going to be your responsibility. You will raise that child and love it.

We may choose to harm ourselves but how can a mother choose to harm the child she bears?

It is just astonishing that the latest figures show that one in eight women in England continue to smoke through pregnancy. Don't they even try to give up? Do they just close their ears and their brain when somebody tries to tell them the damage they are doing?

Roughly speaking it goes like this: smokers deprive themselves of oxygen, breathing a toxic mixture of carbon monoxide and cancer-causing chemicals. All this is pumped through the pregnant woman's body when she smokes. According to the British Heart Foundation, we are talking about four thousand dangerous chemicals - yes I repeat FOUR THOUSAND harmful chemicals surging through mother and baby.

Even a partner's smoke causes stillbirth and infection. One in eight doesn't sound that bad, does it? Apparently it's equivalent to 87,000 women a year - 87,000 brainless, stupid, irresponsible, selfish, murderous women a year.

In fact when I think about it, I'm missing the point - so is everybody who tries to deal with the problem. You must have a screw loose to smoke in pregnancy. Maybe you just don't want the baby - maybe you don't want to be a mother. Whatever it is, it's time to bring on the psychiatrists.

Source: Health and Social Care Information Centre

Full report today:
Some 13 per cent of new mothers fail to give up smoking during pregnancy, according to figures published yesterday.

The latest statistics show the number of women smoking through pregnancy in England is falling slowly - but remains at one in eight mothers.

Four years ago the proportion stood at more than 15 per cent - equivalent to more than 90,000 women. The number has now fallen to 87,000 women who smoked during pregnancy in the year ending in March.

The proportion rose to 20 per cent in the north-east - but is just six per cent in London, according to the Health and Social Care Information Centre - formerly the NHS Information Centre.

In Blackpool the proportion rises to 29.7 per cent.

Midwives said the numbers remained "worryingly high".

Dr Janine Stockdale, of the Royal College of Midwives, said: "Smoking in pregnancy can have serious and long term effects on the developing baby, and the effects on the smoker themselves are well documented and supported by mountains of evidence.

"However we know that quitting smoking is no easier for a pregnant woman, than it is for anyone else. So there are two key health messages related to this evidence. If you are a woman and haven't lit up that first cigarette, don't.

"It is easier to not begin smoking at all than it is to stop when you are pregnant. Also if you are pregnant now and know the damage that your smoking can do to you and your baby, then please take action."

Tim Straughan, chief executive of the Information Centre, said: "This report enables us to see how many women class themselves as a smoker at the time they
give birth.

"It shows a general reduction over time in the percentage of women who still smoke when their baby is born, with an evident north-south divide.

"This is important data for the Government’s Tobacco Control Plan, published in March 2011, which aims to reduce rates of smoking throughout pregnancy to 11 per cent or less by the end of 2015."

Copyright: Englemed News

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