Pregnant mums in Ashford are being given the support they need to quit smoking thanks to help from a specialist midwife for smoking cessation.
Midwife Rachael Garrett is based at the One You shop in Park Mall, Ashford, every Tuesday to meet with mums-to-be – and their partners – and help them kick the habit.
Rachael makes the first contact with her clients via phone before inviting them into the clinic for a 30 minute appointment where they can discuss how she can support them to quit and what changes they can make to break the habit.
She said: “It’s been a very successful programme with more than 100 people contacted in three months, and nine quits. Women like to see a midwife because they trust my advice and expertise plus we can talk about other pregnancy related issues if need be. I continue to support them for seven weeks.
“Most of my quits use products for one week and manage to be smoke free by the end of the first week. They feel empowered with the knowledge and challenge other family members about their smoking habits. They become very protective of their pregnancy and empowered to remain smoke free.”
Pregnant mums are offered nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) in the form of 16 hour patches, lozenges, gum, mouth spray and inhalators.
Rachael works for East Kent Hospitals Foundation Trust and is seconded to Kent Community Health Foundation Trust’s One You shop in Ashford one day a week.
The post is funded by Thanet CCG and Kent County Council. KCC Director Public Health, Andrew Scott-Clark said: “Smoking remains one of the major causes of preventable death so quitting really is the best thing a smoker can do for their health and, in the case of mums-to-be, for the health of their families too.
“We are committed to supporting Kent smokers who want to quit and No Smoking Day is the perfect time for people to think about giving up – even if they have tried before, there are a number of different services and activities underway in the county which can help them.
“There is also evidence showing that changing from cigarettes and tobacco to vaping e-cigarettes poses only a small fraction of the risks of smoking and people need to realise that switching completely from smoking to vaping conveys substantial health benefits.”
Rachael’s post was created to improve smoking in pregnancy outcomes in east Kent by working closely with midwives to ensure that the babyClear programme is adhered to and developed.
For information on support services available in Kent to help you quit, call 0300 123 1220 or visit www.oneyoukent.org.uk