Advice has been issued to pregnant women in Bolton who were smokers at the time of delivery after the release of figures.

Figures from NHS England for the former NHS Bolton CCG show 325 of 3,409 mothers were smokers (9.5 per cent) at time of delivery in 2022-23.

This was above the national ambition of six per cent or less.

And now Greater Manchester Integrated Care Partnership are offering advice to mums to be who "want to give their baby the best start in life".

A spokesperson for Greater Manchester Integrated Care Partnership, said: “As part of our ambition to make smoking history, we’re committed to supporting pregnant women and their families to stop smoking for a healthier pregnancy and birth.

“This is demonstrated through the success of the Greater Manchester Smokefree Pregnancy programme.

“Since it was introduced in 2018, the number of women who smoke at the time of giving birth has fallen by a quarter and an estimated 4,500 more babies have been born free from the harm of tobacco smoke.

“It’s important to remember that smoking is a serious addiction which often starts in childhood and takes much more than just willpower to overcome, especially during pregnancy when increased hormones and metabolic changes can make cravings even more intense.

“We know that parents-to-be want to give their baby the best start in life and are much more likely to quit with the right support.

“In Bolton and other areas of Greater Manchester, dedicated maternity stop smoking services, led by midwives, are on hand to support pregnant women and their partners to go smokefree.

“The services offer one-to-one support and free nicotine replacement that is safe to use during pregnancy and beyond.

“Quitting smoking at any stage of pregnancy will benefit you and your baby from the harms of tobacco, but the earlier you stop, the better.

“If anyone needs help to stop smoking, we’d encourage them to open up and speak to their midwife who will give them the support needed.”

The Greater Manchester Integrated Care Partnership have shared top tips to help women stop smoking in pregnancy:

  • Get support from your midwife or ask for a referral to the specialist stop smoking service.
  • Don’t be afraid to tell your midwife or healthcare professional that you smoke – you won’t be judged. They are there to make sure you get the support and care you need for a healthier, happier pregnancy.
  • Remember your reasons for quitting – protecting your baby from tobacco smoke is one of the best things you can do to give your child a healthy start in life.
  • Quit together with your partner or other family members and help each other. A smokefree home is a much safer environment for your family.
  • Don’t give up – quitting is a challenge, and it can sometimes take more than one attempt. The earlier you stop, the better, but quitting at any stage will benefit you and baby.

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