A Sheffield mum who once smoked 20 cigarettes a day for 23 years is urging others to ditch the habit while pregnant.
Sarah Bembridge, aged 36, from Gleadless, quit smoking while pregnant earlier in the year and is now encouraging others to join her to mark the Jessop Wing hospital becoming a totally smoke-free site.
Jessop Wing is the first of the five hospitals within Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to ban smoking anywhere in their grounds. This means smoking shelters have been removed and staff may ask anyone seen smoking to put out their cigarettes.
The mum-of-three got help from Jessop Wing specialist midwife stop-smoking service while pregnant with her daughter Nevaeh-Rhain, who was born in June.
Sarah is now the face of the hospital’s campaign to raise awareness that Jessop Wing has now become a ‘smoke free site’.
She said: “I think making the sites smoke free will be helpful to ex-smokers like me and I would definitely encourage other mums-to-be to give up smoking. Stopping smoking sounds really hard but with the help of the Jessop Wing service you can do it and it’s so worth it.
"My stop-smoking midwife Arlene was absolutely fantastic, she discussed all the different stop smoking methods with me to find which would suit me most, and then she visited me at home to see how I was getting on.”
The Trust is encouraging smokers to take up the support available to help them quit to coincide with the launch which happened on the first day of ‘Stoptober’.
Helen Baston, consultant midwife and smoking cessation lead at the Jessop Wing, said: “Sarah has made such an important decision. When a pregnant woman stops smoking she, her baby and her family get the benefits immediately.
"No longer exposed to carbon monoxide and the other harmful chemicals in cigarette smoke, this means that the blood can take up more oxygen and this is particularly important for the growing baby. When a new baby is coming in to the family, this is also an opportunity for family and friends to give her support and quit too.”
“We are so lucky in Sheffield to have a midwifery led stop smoking service especially for women thinking of starting a family or who are currently pregnant. People who smoke and have professional support to stop smoking are four times more likely to succeed.”
The Trust is currently considering its policy on vaping and e-cigarettes and will advise patients, staff and visitors as soon as a decision is made.
To find out more about quitting, visit www.yorkshiresmokefree.nhs.uk or call 0800 6120011 (free from landlines) or 0330 6601166 (free from most mobiles). The direct line for pregnant women is: 0114 2265627.