More than one in five women in Mansfield and Ashfield put their unborn child at risk

Mothers in Mansfield and Ashfield are putting their unborn child at risk of being born too small by smoking, new figures have been released.

More than 23 percent of mothers in the two districts are smoking at time of delivery, making it third worst in the country according to NHS Digital.

A mum-to-be smoking

A mum-to-be smoking

It compares to just 10.5 per cent of new mum smokers in England.

Smoking while pregnant are twice as likely to give birth to a low birth weight baby compared to non-smokers and it more than doubles the risk of stillbirth.

Dr Gavin Lunn, Clinical Lead for Mansfield and Ashfield CCG, said: “Protecting your baby from tobacco smoke is one of the best things you can do to give your child a healthy start in life.

“Smoking while pregnant exposes a woman and her unborn child to an increased risk of health problems. Women who smoke are twice as likely to give birth to a low birth weight baby compared to non-smokers.

"But stopping smoking will help both you and your baby immediately by reducing the risk of complications in pregnancy and birth. Even if you stop in the last few weeks of your pregnancy it will benefit you and your baby.

“We know there are a high number of people who smoke at the time of delivery in our area, but we have a clear action plan to address the issue, and help more pregnant smokers to give up."

The CCG with the highest percentage of women smoking at time of delivery is NHS North East Lincolnshire at 24.9 per cent.

Dr Lunn said the commissioning group are planning to launch a campaign to tackle the issue.

He said: “Nottinghamshire is one of the few areas of the country to introduce a hard-hitting intervention process delivered by a midwife with an individual mother and her family. The intervention graphically explains the effects of smoking on a foetus. At the same time pregnant smokers receive more observations to check for complications, and carbon monoxide monitoring to make sure babies receive a good supply of Oxygen in the womb.

“This year we plan to launch a new ‘Love Bump’ health campaign to promote smoke free pregnancies. We are also working with local health and care organisations to reduce smoking in pregnancy to 10 per cent in Mansfield and Ashfield and 8 per cent in Newark & Sherwood by 2022, working towards lower national targets.”