Northwest Colorado Health: Smoking cessation help available for pregnant women
Smoking is an unhealthy habit that is especially harmful to pregnant women and their new babies. Low birth weights, risk of asthma, upper respiratory infections and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) are just a few of the risks to newborns from their mothers who smoke during pregnancy. One of the best gifts a woman can give her child is a smoke free pregnancy and a smoke free home. However, smoking is one of the hardest habits to quit. Not only is there a component of physical dependency, there is also a social connection making it very difficult to quit and stay quit.
Smoking cessation programs are available locally and statewide. In Routt and Moffat counties a program is offered that focuses on pregnant women and their partners to help them quit smoking. This program, called Baby and Me/Tobacco Free, encourages pregnant women to quit using tobacco with incentives such as cash vouchers for diapers.
Once enrolled, counseling support is offered with testing by the use of a carbon monoxide (CO) monitor to evaluate the participant’s smoking status. The father of the baby can also be enrolled at this time if he desires to be tobacco free. The participant will be scheduled for subsequent visits based on her needs during the rest of the pregnancy. If the father of the baby has enrolled as well, he too will be encouraged to accompany the participant or he can set his own schedule.
Once the participant has successfully quit, which is validated by negative results on the CO monitor, she will receive vouchers valued at $25 to be redeemed at Walmart for diapers. The participant can receive up to two vouchers before delivery and one voucher per month, for 12 month, if she remains quit after delivery. The father of the baby will be offered the same reward schedule providing he has met the same requirements.
The Baby and Me Tobacco Free program is free and has proven to be extremely effective. The program has been active for nearly seven years in Routt and Moffat counties and has supported many women in their journey to stay tobacco free. For more information, please call Northwest Colorado Health’s Prenatal Coordinator, Hope Cook, RN at 970-871-7622 or visit http://www.babyandmetobaccofree.org.
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