Shopping vouchers most effective way to help pregnant woman stop smoking

This is quite possibly the first time I have expressed such an opinion on my blog. An opinion where I really don’t care about offending anyone. An opinion that is mine and no other opinion will change mine.

Shopping vouchers most effective way to help pregnant woman stop smoking.

So just to clarify before I go on. I don’t agree with people smoking whilst pregnant its plain wrong, however what is really bothering me is the fact people are being offered vouchers to quit when pregnant. Quitting for vouchers is not the right reason to quit. The fact you’re carrying a tiny life inside you is the reason to quit with help, no monetary incentive should be needed.

People who smoke during pregnancy should NOT be offered an incentive to stop. Why should they?  The fact they are pregnant should be enough shouldn’t it? How on earth anyone can consider quitting for vouchers and NOT for their unborn baby is beyond my thinking. My mind can not even think how anyone can think… Oh yeah I’ll quit because ill get vouchers. See I am not a smoker but surely the right way of thinking is… Oh yeah ill quit because I am carrying A BABY!

To all smoking Mothers to be who are thinking of joining this scheme… Why can you try to quit for vouchers and not just for the fact you have a baby growing inside you?

A study shows that babies born from a mother who has been smoking are…

7oz lighter than those born to non-smokers

More likely to be premature

Have a higher rate of asthma and infections

The above study was carried out in Derbyshire UK which is an area of high social deprivation. 

Each year 5000 babies and foetuses die due to their mothers smoking. A smoking mother has a higher chance of having a miscarriage, still birth and losing a baby due to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) Royal College of Midwives say… Incentivising healthy behaviours using money was ‘not ideal’ and expensive. 

Why the hell would anyone risk their baby being born prematurely or being born with asthma or an infection. Surely if you want a baby you should want to keep it as safe and healthy as you possibly can?

Smoking whilst pregnant costs the NHS tens of thousands of pounds each year in extra healthcare spending. That is tens of thousands of pounds that could go towards cancer funding or other illnesses that need more funding or life threatening illnesses that need more funding.

So now Mothers who smoke during pregnancy are set to get a fantastic reward to stop. Which means these smoking whilst pregnant Mothers stop because they are getting vouchers to stop NOT BECAUSE THEY HAVE A LIFE INSIDE THEM?

What happened to stopping because your pregnant and getting medical help to stop, to stop so you are not poisoning your baby with carbon monoxide and tar?

I don’t agree with it and it makes me angry. Just to clarify to anyone who has read this post and thinks I am getting at mothers who smoke whilst pregnant I’M NOT. I am getting at Mothers who are willing to quit for vouchers and not their unborn baby.

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7 Comments

  1. Rebecca Phillips 5th February 2016 / 20:54

    if you choose to stop smoking so that you’ll receive some shopping vouchers, rather than stopping for the health of your unborn child then you probably don’t deserve to be a mother.

  2. Kim Carberry 5th February 2016 / 22:09

    They should choose to stop smoking for the sake of their baby! That should be enough of an incentive!! I am a smoker but I managed to stop smoking while I was pregnant with both of my girls….

  3. Hayley 6th February 2016 / 00:10

    I agree, but on the other hand there are a lot of women who get pregnant accidentally and either dont intend to keep the baby or just don’t really care about it – those are possibly some of the people this scheme would be aimed at, those who sadly wouldnt do it for love of the child but because there’s something in it for them.
    I used to work with an adopted child whose birth mother wouldn’t even try to get off hard drugs while pregnant because she wasn’t keeping him and didn’t care – he was left with lifelong physical and mental problems as a result, If vouchers had been offered someone like her may well have taken them and it may have saved him a lifetime of struggles.

  4. Chantal Milk&Nappies 6th February 2016 / 08:33

    I want to start by saying I didn’t smoke when I was pregnant nor did I drink alcohol or eat anything I wasn’t meant too but for some reason I found it hard to connect with my baby whilst pregnant because it didn’t feel real, even when I was at 9 months I still couldn’t imagine the baby that was inside me. As soon as I gave birth it changed and I couldn’t feel closer to my boy, but the way I was in pregnancy makes me think that some people just wouldn’t have the connection with their child to make them want to stop, and anything that will help more people quit and improve the health of themselves and their baby has to be a good thing! xx

  5. Kelly 6th February 2016 / 08:57

    Long reply inbound…

    I completely agree. And that’s coming from someone who smoked during pregnancy (or for a large chunk of it). Our pregnancy was a total shock. It wasn’t something we were planning and we are in the 0.1% who were taking the meds but still fell pregnant. The day I found out was the day after I was told I was going to be made redundant so it was an incredibly stressful and worrying time and, honestly we were facing an awful decision about potentially not being able to keep the baby… until the early scan I had when they printed out a scan image and we immediately fell in love.

    That being said I was terrified and not sure how we would cope if I didn’t have a job and it was all piling up so I continued smoking to keep myself calm – albeit going from 20 a day to 5 immediately. I then sought help from the NHS stop smoking service and my midwife – both of which agreed that the best option for my blood pressure (high) and anxiety was to gradually cut down to 1 a day which is where I stuck for a lot of the pregnancy. Am I proud? Absolutely not.

    I know your post wasn’t getting at those who smoke in pregnancy by the way – just giving a bit of context because even as an ex-pregnant smoker I am appalled that vouchers would be offered. If I had been offered them I would have been incredibly offended that they thought financial incentive would be the thing that would have made me give up immediately. If I felt I could have done so without putting me and the baby at risk due to the stress levels at the time then I would have. Money wouldn’t have made that decision for me.

    It’s similar to how I felt about the breastfeeding voucher scheme they were piloting because it makes it appear as if those who are choosing bottle are doing so out of lazyness and without all the facts when in actual fact there could be a million reasons for bottlefeeding your baby.

    Sorry, I have gone off on one lol xx

  6. joannavictoria 6th February 2016 / 10:55

    I have to agree with you on this.
    If ur not able to stop smoking for ur child but for vouchers there is something wrong there. It’s a silly incentive by the government.

  7. Lindsay Newcastle Family Life 10th February 2016 / 19:32

    I totally agree if someone is prepared to give up smoking for money but not their unborn child’s wellbeing then I think they need to give their head a wobble. I think the government are bonkers to even think about a crazy scheme like this. My brothers girlfriend smoked all the way through pregnancy ( even in labour ) and my niece was born weighing 4 lb at full term and she thought it was great she had a tiny baby ! Some people just baffle me xx

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