Smoking warning to pregnant women

File photo dated 01/04/14 of a pregnant woman as women's careers take a nosedive after having childr

File photo dated 01/04/14 of a pregnant woman as women's careers take a nosedive after having children because of a "motherhood penalty", according to a new report. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Saturday May 16, 2015. A survey of 1,300 women who use parenting website Mumsnet revealed that six out of 10 believed having children had a negative effect on their career. See PA story INDUSTRY Women. Photo credit should read: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Experts have appealed to pregnant women to consider the health of their foetus after figures reveal more than one in 10 babies in East Anglia is born to mothers who smoke.

Figures published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre show 11.3pc of women smoked at the time of delivery in East Anglia between 2014/15, increasing the health risks for themselves and their babies.

Smoking is bad for the foetus because cigarette substances effectively reduce the amount of oxygen it receives.

The number of women smoking while pregnant was higher than the national average (11.4pc) in Norwich, South Norfolk, West Norfolk, Great Yarmouth and Waveney and West Suffolk.

By contrast North Norfolk (9.8pc), Ipswich and East Suffolk (5.9pc), and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough (10.7pc) were below that line. East Anglia's average was 11.3pc.


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The worst area in the region is Great Yarmouth and Waveney, where 17.8pc of babies were born to mothers who smoke, the 30th highest total in England.

Andy Trohear, specialist pregnancy adviser at East Coast Community Healthcare, said: 'We have got high areas of deprivation in Great Yarmouth so you have to look at the demography of the area and compare it to the rest of Norfolk.

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'All we can do is educate people, and we do our best to help people stop smoking.

'Every midwife does a carbon monoxide test on pregnant women and they are offered an appointment, but many people don't show up.'

He said specialist clinics are also offered in the community.

Do you have a health story? Email nicholas.carding@archant.co.uk

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