It’s all a smokescreen

Cigarettes and kids: All the experts agree they don't mix
Cigarettes and kids: All the experts agree they don't mix
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It’s Waynetta Slob reincarnate, as I live and breathe.

Charlie Wilcox, the girl who not only puffed her way through 3,500 fags during her pregnancy, but boasted about it, is busily claiming she did her unborn baby a favour.

She reckons that the cigarettes she smoked made her daughter healthier.

With totally skewed logic, which flies in the face of every piece of research into the effects of cigarettes on the unborn child, she states that cutting off her unborn baby’s oxygen supply in the womb forced its heart to work harder – and therefore made it stronger.

Charlie, who was featured on BBC3 series Misbehaving Mums To Be while she was pregnant, said on air: “It’s making the baby use its heart on its own in the first place, so that when it comes out, it’s going to be able to do them things by itself.”

And even now, the proud mum of a baby girl, she still refuses to admit she did anything wrong by lighting up with every cup of tea – up to 20 times a day.

“It was my right. I don’t believe it was hurting Lilly,” she has said - and added that had she quit smoking while pregnant, she felt the stress would have been more harmful to the baby.

Can you believe anyone can be so thick? Actually, you know, I can’t.

I don’t think for a moment that the 20-year-old really believes all the tripe she has uttered.

This is her guilt talking.

Being in denial is an easier place to be than admitting to yourself that your supremely selfish behaviour could so easily have harmed the beautiful little girl that you produced,

Her daughter Lilly is now 14 weeks old. I assume that, like all new mothers, Charlie will now be feeling more love for her child than she has ever felt in her life.

That she’ll want to lavish her with love and protect every hair on her head.

And because of the strength of her new maternal feelings, she can’t bring herself to admit that what she did was wrong. That she risked so much by not putting her baby first all those months ago.

She was warned. Midwives told her that her carbon monoxide levels were six times higher than those considered safe for a baby, and that her habit could cause a premature birth, a lower birth weight and a host of health problems.

I guess it was easy for her to ignore them because all she could see was a big, swollen belly, not a real, live, struggling-to-breathe little person.

But sure enough, Lilly was 10 days early, weighing 6lb 2oz – 1lb 2oz lighter than the average baby girl in Britain – although thankfully without a cleft lip or palate or any trace of limb deformities (all of which can occur in babies born to smokers).

I notice she now doesn’t even smoke in the same room as her daughter. Which, I reckon, proves she knows damned well that the smoke she puffed into her unborn baby’s bloodstream was harmful. And far more dangerous than any second-hand smoke Lilly might accidentally inhale now.

Let’s just hope for Lilly’s sake that it’s not too little, too late. And that her silly, selfish mother hasn’t just learned her lesson, but inadvertently taught a vital one to other mothers-to-be.