Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

NO-SMOKING WOMB ; LOW BIRTH WEIGHT PRETERM BIRTH Smoking Cessation Program Targets Pregnant Women

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

NO-SMOKING WOMB ; LOW BIRTH WEIGHT PRETERM BIRTH Smoking Cessation Program Targets Pregnant Women

Article excerpt

Nationally, just more than 9 percent of women reported smoking during pregnancy in 2011. The number of women in Vanderburgh County who reported the same was more than twice that at 20 percent. Lori Drake, director of Pregnancy Care Services at Evansville Christian Life Center, said she hopes a new program will reduce that number - as well as the state's much higher than average infant mortality rate.

ECLC was one of eight programs in the state to receive a $60,000 grant from the Indiana State Department of Health for the Baby & Me - Tobacco Free Program.

The program is a one-on-one mentoring program in which pregnant women learn the dangers of smoking to themselves, their unborn child and other family members, how "e-cigarettes" aren't a safe alternative to smoking and tools to help them quit, during four prenatal classes.

When women first sign up for the class they are given a test to confirm that they are in fact a smoker. Participants must quit by the third prenatal session and will be given a "CO" breath monitor or saliva test to confirm that. For the baby's first year, the mom can take the test to confirm that she has remained smoke free and will receive a $25 voucher to purchase diapers at a local retailer.

"Because ECLC operates the Pregnancy Resource Centers, we are able to talk to women about the program as soon as they find out they are pregnant," Drake said. "The program's goal is to get pregnant women to quit smoking and just as importantly to make sure they stay quit postpartum."

Dr. Karenrose Contreras, maternal fetal medicine specialist with Tri-State Perinatology at The Women's Hospital, said there are serious dangers of smoking while pregnant.

"Tobacco is probably one of the most dangerous 'drugs' used in pregnancy," she said. …

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