A new outpatient clinic is helping pregnant women to quit smoking.
Midwives and stop smoking advisors are running the clinic every Thursday at the University Hospital of Hartlepool, and Wednesday morning in women’s outpatients at the University Hospital of North Tees.
It has been developed with the national babyClear programme to show pregnant mums how smoking in pregnancy harms unborn babies.
Stop smoking advisor for pregnancy Judith Rees said: “Around 360 tiny lives could be saved by cutting smoking related miscarriages in the North East every year.
“The North East historically had the highest rates of smoking during pregnancy in the country with 18.1% of women at North Tees in 2014/15 smoking at time of delivery compared to 11.4% nationally.
“For this reason, we need this clinic to help expectant mothers in the area.”
Midwives take mums through a detailed discussion at the 12-week scan using new software to show the potential harm being done when a baby is exposed to carbon monoxide, based on the woman’s CO readings.
Women who have so far declined help to quit are shown how carbon monoxide travels through the placenta and umbilical cord to their baby and causes the heart beat to increase, reducing oxygen levels when carbon monoxide surges.
Contact the stop smoking service on (01642) 383819.