Smoking in Pregnancy campaign
New figures have revealed that during 2015/16, around one in ten pregnant women in Essex were smokers at the time of having their babies.
Although Essex has seen a decline in numbers in recent years and has lower levels than the national targets, the figures confirm that 1,500 women were smoking during pregnancy.
Essex County Council have been launched a new campaign which aims to educate mums-to-be and their families on the dangers of smoking while pregnant. The campaign will also direct these women to local stop smoking services, and offer them support in quitting.
Smoking in pregnancy can restrict the oxygen supply to the baby and as a result, the babys heart has to beat harder every time the mother smokes. Every cigarette smoked also contains over 4,000 chemicals inhaled into the mothers body.
It also causes risks of complications in pregnancy and birth, risk of still birth, premature birth, low birth weight, a greater risk of sudden infant death syndrome and problems with the child in later life, such as asthma and other serious illnesses that may need hospital treatment.
The campaign will also aim to reach partners and parents of pregnant women to educate them on the dangers of second-hand smoke in pregnancy.
The campaign will run for a month and has been developed through working with pregnant women, midwives, and healthcare professionals.