Our role in the Local Maternity System (LMS), as part of the Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership, is to make sure women, families and babies are as healthy and safe as they can be as they move through their pregnancy journey.
A big part of our focus is on ensuring as few babies as possible are exposed to tobacco smoke in pregnancy and beyond. We also know that quitting smoking can be really difficult and that, especially at the moment, a lot of our families are feeling the pressure and we don’t want to add to that.
One of the ways we are supporting families is with the lauch of the new Bump the Habit website. As you might guess, this gives evidence-based and accurate information for women about the effect their smoking might have on their baby and the choices available to them if they want to do something about it.
We want this website to be a one-stop shop with all the information they need. The website features a local stop smoking service finder tool and a quitting calculator which determines how much money you would save by stopping smoking.
During Covid-19 some of the services across Humber, Coast and Vale have had to move to online appointments only, but there are services out there for those who are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant, and we want to ensure these are easily accessible.
Other checks that we used to do – for example, testing carbon monoxide levels at each appointment to identify which women need more support – have also had to stop, so we are very reliant on referrals coming into the local services when needed.
The website therefore has a list of the different services available and families can choose what they access. There are many links to other information as well as telephone advice services, and there are schemes in different areas that can give fresh enthusiasm and support for everyone.
We also provide information about local and national events that people may want to get involved in so they get support from others going through the same situation – for example, at the moment, the NHS is supporting Stoptober.
There are also stories from local women and families describing how they’ve succeeded in quitting and the benefits they’ve seen – to hopefully inspire other people in Humber, Coast and Vale to take their example and stop smoking.
We also provide information on the website for midwives and other staff who may be giving brief interventions and advice on how to quit. Again we know how much information they have to squeeze into appointments so providing background information and resources will make this process easier for our colleagues – and having it on a website means anyone, in any of our services can use this support.
There are links to the main LMS website which has key information about pregnancy and birth, so together this provides a really helpful place for everyone.
Please have a look at the website and tell your friends and family members; the more we can all work to support our communities to become smoke-free, the healthier all of our babies will be!