A new coordinating group of staff – public health doctors, nurses, midwives, Maori support staff and managers – will work together to get the message across in a supportive but firm way.
A focus will be asking pregnant mums to think about quitting in October when the national Stoptober campaign will offer encouragement and support for all smokers to sign up and quit.
Local initiatives include five public promotions in the Level B2 foyer of the hospital’s Elizabeth Rothwell Building on Pembroke Street, with giveaways, snacks and information stalls.
Free carbon dioxide breath testing will be available, and smoking cessation staff will be on hand for advice and support.
Staff will challenge in a positive way those people smoking outside the building to make sure they realise the impact of their habit on a baby’s health. “The evidence is very clear that maternal smoking puts babies at risk in a whole range of ways, from low weight at birth to higher rates of stillbirth and SUDI (“cot death”), respiratory distress and asthma in later life,” says charge midwife manager of Women’s Health Assessment Unit Rachael Kingsbury.
“Not only that, but the mum is at more risk of miscarriage, difficulties in childbirth, and of course longer term illnesses like cancer. “A Smokefree pregnancy is one of the best ways to promote a healthy pregnancy and baby,” she says. Rachael’s unit has put its hand up to lead the charge for promoting smokefree pregnancies in Waikato Hospital as part of Waikato DHB’s Maternity Quality and Safety Programme which has a focus on reducing maternal smoking rates.
Waikato midwives working in the community will offer support to women when they first find out they are pregnant.
To complement this, all women’s health services in Elizabeth Rothwell Building will offer support and encourage women to be smokefree during their stay at Waikato Hospital. “It won’t happen overnight, but we will make a concerted effort to inform and support the pregnant mums who come through our doors – and the families and friends who are part of their lives. “Together we can make a real difference for the mums and their babies,” says Rachael.
Dates and times for the public foyer sessions at Level B2, Elizabeth Rothwell Building, Waikato Hospital (entrance from Pembroke Street)
- Monday 8 September 11am to 1pm
- Tuesday 16 September 11am to 1pm
- Wednesday 24 September 11am to 1pm
- Thursday 2 October 11am to 1pm
- Friday 3 October 11am to 1pm
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