NEW PROGRAM TO HELP PREGNANT WOMEN QUIT SMOKING
Staff at Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center’s Memorial Family Care clinic, located at 1025 First Avenue West in Jasper, are now trained and certified to offer the BABY & ME – Tobacco Free Program™ to help pregnant women quit smoking and stay quit. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), “We must encourage pregnant smoking women to consider a quit attempt. The BABY & ME – Tobacco Free Program™ is researched-based and has been proven effective to help pregnant women quit smoking and maintain smoking cessation throughout the postpartum period and beyond.”
Laurie Adams, BABY & ME – Tobacco Free Program Executive Director and program creator, provided the technical support and training to Memorial Family Care. Three staff members are certified to implement and enroll women into the program. “Memorial Family Care is a perfect fit for the program,” Adams states. “They provide services to a large number of prenatal women, and they support their patients’ quit attempts.” Pregnant women who enroll in the program receive counseling support and resources to help them quit smoking. Upon successfully quitting and staying quit, enrolled participants are eligible for FREE diapers during the prenatal period and up to 12 months following the birth of their baby. This program employs cessation methods and guidelines set forth by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and its effectiveness has been documented through research. “The greatest gift a woman can give her baby is a tobacco-free pregnancy and a tobacco-free home. We are thrilled to be working with Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center to help pregnant women in their community,” states Adams.
“The Baby and Me – Tobacco Free Program fits with Memorial Hospital’s mission statement of ‘Christ’s healing mission of compassion empowers us to be for others through quality and excellence,’ “ says Julia Stenftenagel, Memorial Family Care Practice Manager. “Helping women become tobacco free is better for the mom and the baby. We are pleased to be able to provide the BABY & Me- Tobacco Free Program to our patients.”
In 2016, according to Indiana State Department of Health, 13.5% of women in Indiana smoked while pregnant. When looking at Dubois and seven of its surrounding counties, which Memorial Hospital serves, the average percent of live births to women who smoke averaged 20.4%. Tobacco use during pregnancy is a known cause of birth defects, premature births, underweight babies, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Quitting smoking greatly reduces the health risks to the mother and baby.
The BABY & ME – Tobacco Free Program, conducted at Memorial Family Care, is generously funded by the Indiana State Department of Health Maternal and Child Health Division through a combination of Title V Maternal and Child Health Block Grant, Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant. Memorial Family Care’s goal is to enroll at least 50 pregnant, smoking women into the program. The BABY & ME – Tobacco Free Program is in 18 states nationwide and has enrolled over 12,000 women. For more information on the program or how to enroll, contact Memorial Family Care at 812-996-8460 or go to www.babyandmetobaccofree.org