Smoking Cessation Midwife Urges Pregnant Women to Stub out Cigarettes on No Smoking Day

13th March 2024
South Eastern Trust’s Health Improvement Midwife Emily Moss

The South Eastern Trust’s Health Improvement Midwife Emily Moss has a vital message for expectant mums or woman who are wanting to start a family, “Stopping smoking will make a huge difference to your health and that of your baby.”

Emily who is based at the Ulster Hospital, offers advice and guidance for pregnant women and their partners if they make the crucial decision to stop smoking or if they have recently stopped.

The Maternity Stop Smoking Service, which is funded by the Public Health Agency (PHA) is a 12 week support programme that is a combination of specific coping strategies and nicotine replacement therapy.

When you smoke a cigarette, all the poisonous substances you breathe in get into your bloodstream, and from there, into your baby’s blood too. This means that both of you are at risk.

Recent medical research has proven that babies born to mothers who smoke are 40 per cent more likely to be stillborn than babies born to non-smokers.

Emily said that approximately 11 per cent of pregnant women still smoke in pregnancy. “We know the health issues associated with smoking during pregnancy such as issues with the placenta, increased risk of miscarriage and increased risk of a baby being stillborn.”

Emily continued: “We know that pregnancy is a teachable moment and the most likely time in a woman’s life that she will ever quit smoking. Women and their partners really have that extra motivation to quit when they are pregnant. We have had mums who have gone from smoking 20 cigarettes a day to stopping altogether and it is such a boost to their confidence. If only one person gives up smoking by taking part in my programme, for me that is huge and I feel that my job is worthwhile.”

“Research has shown that the babies of mums who smoke are much more likely to smoke themselves. Stopping smoking is a massive thing to do for you and your baby.”

For those expectant mums who maybe considering stopping smoking, Emily said those that access her service can rest assured that it is a, “Free, non- judgemental and confidential way of learning to take the steps to quit the habit.”

“We offer a safe space for women to talk about their smoking habit. We find that some pregnant women just simply benefit from having someone to talk to about giving up smoking. We can help them through our service. We are a telephone service and if the patient prefers to have a face-to-face consultation we can provide that as well. Statistics show that you are four times more likely to stop smoking by accessing our service rather than go it alone.”

For more information on the smoking cessation programme for expectant mothers contact Emily at