Welsh Moms-to-Be Love Cigarettes More Than Baby


woman smoking with babyApparently, it's still acceptable for pregnant women to smoke in Wales. But it won't be for long, thanks to a new government program aimed at encouraging moms-to-be to lead healthier lives for the sake of their fetuses.

The Welsh Assembly Government is planning to unveil a new strategy to provide maternity services promoting healthy eating and smoking cessation. According to the announcement, 37 percent of Welsh moms smoke at some stage during their pregnancy or the year before and 22 percent continue to smoke throughout those nine months.

This is the highest rate of pregnant women smoking in the UK, which also boasts the highest rate of pregnant drinkers.

Call me naive, but I'm shocked to hear that that many women are still smoking, given the undeniable health risks.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, smoking accounts for 20 to 30 percent of low-weight babies, up to 14 percent of preterm deliveries, and 10 percent of infant deaths. Why are women anywhere still smoking?

This must be a real problem in the UK, where health watchdog National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence actually proposed that carbon monoxide tests be performed on every expectant mom at her first prenatal appointment. The organization claimed this was not meant to penalize moms and make them feel guilty, but simply to help them quit smoking.

Hmm ... not that I side with smoking moms, but could you imagine being screened for unhealthy behavior? What if you had a few cigarettes before you even knew you were pregnant? Or drinks? I wouldn't want to be scolded by my doc for a behavior I plan to abandon.

Then again, some moms-to-be may not be able to or want to abandon their unhealthy habits, so I applaud the Welsh government for spending the money to reach out to them.

Do you think it's okay for the government to crack down on smoking moms?


Image via Polina Sergeeva/Flickr

tests, pregnancy health


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Cryst... Crystal8327

This country wasn't much different not that long ago, yet we have the most ausitic and babies with problems than any other time in history so maybe their are worse things pregnant women in this society are doing because things are not getting better, yet decades prior many pregnant moms smoked and their kids had no problems like today. I am not defending smoking when pregnant but just want people to realize there is more to health and maternal health than not smoking. Maybe they shouldn't be having junk food diets either and caustious of their everyday toxins like cleaning items and what they put on their bodies. FYI I stopped during pregnancy and breastfeeding but I just would like to know why babies and children are more sickly now than the days of chain smoking and drinking mommies. Its a little odd.

qrex912 qrex912

Exactly, Crystal. The point is to be healthy at all points in your life, not just during pregnancy. It isn't enough to not just be "Non-Toxic."It should be about overall health BEFORE, during, and after pregnancy. Doctors recommend that women of childbearing age take a prenatal vitamin at all times, not just when pregnant, because an OVERALL healthy mother makes for healthy babies and children.

However, I do think its unfair to say that Welsh mothers love cigarettes more than their babies. If the awareness in that area isn't the same as in other place, maybe they don't know its that big of an issue. I mean, some American women smoked and drank heavily during pregnancy until recently (recently in the scheme of history at least), and some STILL DO, even with all of the things we know.

Not to mention that addiction is a disease, a very hard habit to break, even with that sort of incentive. Don't cast stones on people's love for their child. I disagree with many people's parenting, but I never question whether or not they love them. Some people weren't blessed with the awesome decision-making skills that you were, clearly.

nonmember avatar Christine

I am going to throw an idea out as to why so many babies/children are being diagnosed with different diseases now more than ever...I think doctors are over diagnosing. Not so much with Autism, that you can not deny, but with ADHD I think many kids are diagnosed as having this when in reality they are just more hyper than the average child and maybe need a little more structure or discipline. Perhaps as suggested above our overall unhealthy lifestyles (eating junk, no exercise, etc.) is causing more cases of things like Autism. Moms need to be overall healthy, including not smoking, and I think our kids will be more healthy. I do stand by my thinking that some doctors overdiagnose some diseases because parents want a name or reason for their child acting out when it may very well be that they just need to be better parents.

bills... billsfan1104

Not one women that is prochoice/proabortion cannot say one word on what a women does during her pregnancy. Remember its her body her choice. You cannot say its a baby and the mother is trash if she drinks and smokes during her pregnancy, and then turn around and say that a mother can suck out the baby, because it is not really a life.

momto... momtothemax2910

Is it stupid to smoke, yes. But still legal. So no women should not be forced to do this screening.

nonmember avatar Ash

I think the hand-rolled cigarettes back in the day were probably less harmful than those you buy now with all the chemicals and additives. But cigarettes aren't solely to blame for everything wrong with the human race today, and this sounds like a great plan to encourage smoking mothers to skip all of their prenatal appointments.

Mrs.Salz Mrs.Salz

I'm against smoking and I absolutely HATE seeing pregnant moms or moms with babies smoking, but that being said.... the government needs to keep its hands out of personal lives, and IMO does not have the right to impose these kinds of tests on its citizens.

Cryst... Crystal8327

Yes commercial cigarettes are very different, but natural brands still exist, once my son self weaned i went back to smoking but smoke an Indian brand that has no added chemicals. I hate that I am a smoker  but I don't feel as bad as if I had done so while pregnant/nursing. I am so stressed and have anxiety issues that makes me go back to it. I still say there is more going on causing defects and health problems though, my son has delays, not autism for general delays with no found cause. I was so healthy during my pregnancy even tried to eat organically and stayed away from chemicals so I can say that was a real blow, guess I cannot control the air I was breathing.

Cryst... Crystal8327

And I agree this is just another government control effort.

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