No Smoking Day (March 11th) saw the launch of a No Smoking voice alert system outside of the maternity entrance at Conquest Hospital, which when activated by staff, visitors or patients, plays a pre-recorded message asking smokers to protect babies from their smoke and to use the designated smoking shelters around the site.
The maternity entrance is used by all expectant mothers and their families, including young children visiting their new babies. It is not acceptable for these people to have to pass through cigarette smoke to enter or leave the hospital.
Sarah Knight, Public Health Midwife, who is part of the prevention team within the maternity department said: “We want our new born babies to leave the security of the department for their first breaths of fresh air to be just that – ‘fresh’. Protecting new born babies from the effects of second hand smoke needs to be actively encouraged. Whether or not a woman smokes during her pregnancy has a far reaching impact on the health of the child throughout his or her life and if a women is a non-smoker or has chosen to quit, she and her family should not be subjected to second hand smoke from others”
Smoking is the single most ‘changeable’ risk in pregnancy. There is strong evidence that reducing smoking in pregnancy reduces the likelihood of stillbirth. It also impacts positively on many other smoking-related pregnancy complications, such as preterm birth, miscarriage, low birthweight and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
The launch was supported by the local Health Visiting Team who work collaboratively with midwives to continue support following birth and One You East Sussex who offer stop smoking services to people in East Sussex and run a designated Smoking in Pregnancy telephone clinic to offer support to expectant mothers.
Smoking is an addiction and the friendly non-judgemental pregnancy team at One You offer free nicotine replacement therapies and ongoing encouragement and support during the first 12 weeks of quitting.
If you would like to know more about the services offered from One You East Sussex please contact them via them via their website https://oneyoueastsussex.org.uk/ or telephone 01323 404600.