The Southern Health and Social Care Trust has appointed two specialist midwives to help expectant mums to stop smoking.
Funded by the Public Health Agency, Ursula Gaffney is based at Daisy Hill Hospital whilst her colleague Roisin Donohue works from Craigavon Area Hospital.
Both experienced midwives, Roisin and Ursula are available to support mums-to-be and their families through to the early post natal period.
Smoking in pregnancy continues to be a major health concern as Anne McVey, Assistant Director for Integrated Maternity and Women’s Health for the Southern Trust explains: “Research shows that women who smoke while pregnant are more likely to have complications, their babies are more likely to be premature, underweight and are at a greater risk of stillbirth or cot death.
“Despite the damage it does to their unborn baby, 15% of women in Northern Ireland smoke during pregnancy. Passive smoke contains twice as much tar and nicotine as smoke inhaled from a cigarette and as 37% of mothers in Northern Ireland live with a smoker, we are delighted to offer this specialist support to partners also.
“Giving up smoking at any stage in pregnancy is beneficial for both mums and babies and as those who use this service are more likely to stay quit, we encourage any women or those with partners who smoke to avail of this expert support to help ensure that their babies get the best start in life.”
You can be referred to the Smokefree Babies service through the antenatal service or fertility clinics. For further information contact Roisin Donohue, Craigavon Area Hospital on 028 3861 4254/ 07795445918 or Ursula Gaffney, Daisy Hill Hospital on 028 3083 5338/07795445710. Northern Ireland Stop Smoking Helpline: 08088 128 008.