4 Nov 2019, 2:51 p.m.

Gloucestershire Maternity and Neonatal teams are taking part in the Maternal and Neonatal Health Safety Collaborative (MNHSC), to increase the number of babies discharged to a smoke-free home.

During the year long project, our Trust will increase the number of women and their families who are carbon monoxide tested, in order to increase referrals to smoking services.

Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas with no colour, odour or taste, which can be fatal. It is produced when tobacco products are burnt, and can be found in inhaled, exhaled and passive smoke. It can also be produced by exhaust fumes, or be released from faulty cooking and heating appliances.

Exposure to carbon monoxide is particularly dangerous during pregnancy, because it can:

  • deprive the baby of oxygen
  • slow growth and development
  • increase the risk of miscarriage
  • increase the risk of still birth and sudden infant death

Second hand smoke can also reduce the baby’s birthweight, and increase the risk of cot death. Babies with parents who smoke are also more likely to be admitted to hospital for bronchitis and pneumonia during their first year.

When women get support to stop smoking when pregnant, they reduce the risk of complications and are more likely to have a healthier pregnancy, and a healthier baby.

From November, families attending maternity or neonatal services in Gloucestershire will see posters supporting the project.

Smoke free champions have been appointed across the Gloucestershire Hospitals to support NHS staff, women and their families with every aspect of this project. You can find out more by visiting Gloucestershire Healthy Lifestyle Service website, or by calling 0800 122 3788.