News

Staggering 26.5% women smoked while pregnant

A NEW report reveals 26.5% of women in the Wide Bay smoked while pregnant.
A NEW report reveals 26.5% of women in the Wide Bay smoked while pregnant.

A NEW report reveals a staggering 26.5% of women in the Wide Bay smoked while pregnant, a figure that is concerning many health organisations.

The National Health Performance Authority report released this week was the first in Australia to break down by local area infant and child death rates, smoking during pregnancy, the percentage of low birth-weight babies and women who had at least one antenatal visit in their first trimester.

The report revealed the region had higher infant mortality - 6.2 deaths per 1000 live births - and maternal smoking rates than nearly any other area of similar size and social structure.

Bundaberg Hospital nurse unit manager Dohna Myler, of the Bundaberg Family Unit, said smoking while pregnant could impact your baby's health in a variety of ways.

"Smoking while pregnant causes less oxygen and nutrients to be supplied to the baby," she said.

"It is also linked to babies having an increased risk of SIDS, asthma, colds, ear infections and respiratory problems."

She said the Bundaberg Family Unit helped parents with quitting through a Tobacco Screening Tool.

"Parents complete this process at each of their five antenatal visits," she said.

"The Tobacco Screening Tool clearly identifies the risks associated with smoking, highlights the benefits of quitting, addresses the barriers that exist and offers to help parents."

Cancer Council Queensland spokeswoman Katie Clift said it was concerning to see such a high rate of smoking during pregnancy reported for the Wide Bay region.

"Smoking while pregnant can cause a range of health complications for both the mother and child," she said.

"There are a range of factors that can influence rates of smoking in different areas, including socio-economic status and other demographic characteristics.

"We urgently need the State Government to introduce smoke-free spaces across Queensland to further decrease the prevalence of smoking and encourage more Queenslanders to quit."

Ms Clift said a number of things could be done to reverse the statistic.

"Smoke-free spaces is first on the Cancer Council's list of things to do and will have the biggest impact on smoking prevalence," she said.

"It's also crucial that pregnant women in Queensland continue to receive resources and support to quit."

Smokers can obtain free information, practical assistance and support from Quitline on 13 78 48.

Topics:  pregnancy, smoking, wide bay




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

MATTER OF STATS: Third time’s the charm

RUGBY LEAGUE: Brothers’ Jake Carl with the ball against Hervey Bay. Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail

The weekly wrap of Bundaberg Rugby League stats.

WATCH: Divers discover Spirit of 1770 underwater wreck

Divers in the Spirit of 1770 wreck.

"All of a sudden this big thing appeared in front of them"

Flying-fox roost driving Gin Gin residents batty

SAFETY HAZARD: Bats roosting at Gaeta have destroyed trees and driven other native wildlife away, residents say.

“A a plague of wild animals takes precedence over human life”

Latest deals and offers

Own Sunshine Coast property? You’re about to make money

UP AND UP: Property owners are likely to win from rent and price increases but tenants and first home buyers might not be so happy. Photo: Brett Wortman / Sunshine Coast Daily

Good new for property owners, not so good for buyers and tenants.

Sale nears on last large block of land in Coolum

The 43.37ha property on South Coolum Rd has sold.

South Coolum Rd property to be land banked