Shocking new figures have revealed that 42.9 per cent of expectant teenage mums in the south east smoked during pregnancy in 2012-13.
The figures also show that 27.5 per cent of women of all ages in the Express area smoked while expecting a baby. The figure for mums of all ages was higher than the 23.3 per cent average across the district, which is itself one of the highest rates in Yorkshire and the Humber.
Dr Andrew Furber, director of public health at Wakefield Council, said: “These figures are quite startling, considering the well-known serious implications smoking can have on mother and baby – before and after birth. Alarmingly, one thing we are hearing more is that some women are continuing to smoke throughout their pregnancy in the hope they will give birth to a small baby. Yet the reality is smoking can be responsible for a whole series of health-related problems, including complications during labour, an increased risk of miscarriage, premature birth, stillbirth, low birth weight – which can lead to other health issues – and sudden unexpected death in infancy such as cot death.”
Visit www.wakefieldstopsmoking.co.uk for advice on quitting smoking.