One in seven pregnant Wigan women smokes

A mum-to-be smoking
A mum-to-be smoking

More than one in seven Wigan mums-to-be are continuing to flout medical advice by smoking.

Latest data from NHS Digital shows 15.4 per cent of women in the borough are still lighting up during pregnancy.

This was the joint-second highest percentage in Greater Manchester and was among the worst in the North West.

It compares to just 10.5 per cent of new mum smokers in England and 11.9 per cent in Greater Manchester.

Of the 824 births in the borough between July and September last year, 127 were to smoking mothers.

Despite measures in place to help people quit smoking, the percentage of new mums in Wigan who smoked was identical to the same quarter in 2017.

A joint statement from Wigan Council and Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) said: “The aspiration is that all babies will be born into a smoke-free environment and Wigan maternity service are working closely with Wigan Council to provide training for midwives and ongoing support for women and families within the borough to achieve the goal of delivering a tobacco-free generation within the next 10 years.

“WWL have fully implemented the Saving Babies’ Lives care bundle, which includes a focus of reducing smoking in pregnancy and also the provision of serial scans for fetal growth surveillance for those who smoke at booking.

“Stopping smoking has many benefits for your baby. It will reduce the risk of your baby being born too early or being too small, both of which can cause problems during and after birth, including problems with breathing and feeding.

“It also reduces the risk of suffering a stillbirth that can be absolutely devastating. Finally, stopping smoking reduces the risk of a sudden infant death syndrome during the first year of your baby’s life.”

They said every pregnant woman is assessed regularly, asked whether they smoke and given advice and support to quit.

They are also CO breath-tested by the maternity team and there is support through community health services, such as Healthy Routes, the health visiting team and Start Well family services.

Support is also available to members of the family who smoke.

Further information about stopping smoking through Healthy Routes Wigan is available at or by calling 01942 489012.