One in 10 pregnant Lancashire mums are still smoking right up to delivery
New figures show one in 10 pregnant women in Preston, Chorley and South Ribble are still smoking at the time of giving birth.
In Greater Preston, of 605 births, 59 of the mothers were smokers, or 9.9 per cent. In Chorley and South Ribble, of 455 births, 44 mothers were smokers, or 9.7 per cent.
Across Lancashire and South Cumbria as a whole, the figure was 12.6 per cent of mums, and the national average was 10.4 per cent.
A spokesperson for the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in Chorley, South Ribble and Greater Preston said it was “encouraging” that figures were lower than the national average, but work was being done to achieve the national target of reducing the number of smokers during pregnancy to six per cent by 2022.
The spokesman said: “A number of steps are being taken towards reaching this target, including revised smoking in pregnancy guidelines and monitoring carbon monoxide levels at book in and at 36 weeks gestation.
"Our midwifery services are also working closely with the Quit Squad and each mother who identifies as a smoker is given a resource pack on smoking in pregnancy during discussions, when booking in their pregnancy.”
According to Lancashire County Council’s Quit For You Quit For Two campaign, 45 per cent of pregnant women who smoke are under 20, compared only nine per cent over the age of 30.
County Councillor Shaun Turner, Lancashire County Council's cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: "Stopping smoking when pregnant and staying smokefree are some of the best ways a woman can protect the health of her baby.
"Midwives work in partnership with the Quit Squad to give pregnant women who smoke the support they need to quit.
"If you are pregnant and would like further information and support to quit you should speak to your midwife or contact the Quit Squad."
Smoking cigarettes can restrict the oxygen supply to an unborn baby. On average, smoking during pregnancy doubles the chances that a baby will be born too early or weigh less than five and a half pounds at birth. Smoking also more than doubles the risk of stillbirth.
Ask your midwife to refer you to the Quit Squad or contact the service on 0800 328 6297 or visit: http://www.quitsquad.nhs.uk