A SUPPORT group helping mums-to-be to kick the habit has been praised at a national awards ceremony.
The Stop Smoking in Pregnancy Team at the Jessop Wing maternity hospital has been commended at the national British Journal of Midwifery awards.
The project was awarded third place in the Team of the Year category for their work implementing a new strategy to help pregnant women stop smoking.
The dedicated team of stop smoking advisors and midwives enabled 183 pregnant smokers to kick the habit in 2010-11, along with 22 of the women’s partners.
Gemma Rock, from Gleadless, successfully quit smoking when she became pregnant with her second child – a sibling for Ryan, now aged five, who was born prematurely and had to spend his first month in the wing’s Special Care Baby Unit.
The 25-year-old said: “I smoked throughout my first pregnancy and what happened to Ryan scared me to death and filled me with guilt.
“As soon as I found out I was pregnant again I vowed to quit for good.
“The support I’ve received from my stop smoking adviser has been fantastic,
“I’d never have been able to do it alone. She visits regularly and I can ring her any time for help and advice.
“My partner has quit smoking with me too and it has made our whole family healthier. We can’t thank the team enough!”
The team have also established a multi-agency Stop Smoking in Pregnancy Forum which meets monthly to share ideas, examine research and design and develop resources to support the new National Institute of Clinical Excellence compliant strategy.
Helen Baston, consultant midwife and co-ordinator of the group, said: “The team have worked tirelessly to support women, through a ‘can-do’ and flexible approach to meeting their diverse needs.
“This dedication and effort is reflected in the outcomes they achieve and we are extremely proud of the pregnant women who have stopped smoking and the staff and partners who have supported them.”