No excuse for smoking during pregnancy
IT emerged this week that more than one in ten Irish expectant mothers smoke during pregnancy.
Our country has received a lot of bad press in recent years for a lot of different reasons but this is a total embarrassment.
What's even worse is that while a drop in figures was recorded down to 17 per cent in 2007 there are still a staggering number of women out there smoking their way through pregnancy.
Now, I'll admit that things have come a long way since the days of both hospital patients and staff puffing their way along the corridors but there is clearly a large portion of society that has yet to wake up to the risks.
I have seen mothers of all ages and levels of education think nothing of lighting up a cigarette while pregnant and not even their growing bump could deter them.
Many will say they have cut down or are trying to stop but there is no excuse on the planet that can excuse such a dangerous and selfish practice.
Perhaps the sheer addictive nature of cigarettes makes it extremely difficuly to kick the habit but what better incentive than the health of one's child?
If this cannot convince a mother to give smoking a break then what will?
After all it is just for a few short months. Whether an individual smokes or not is entirely up to them but while responsible for the lifeline of another human being it is completely inexcusable.
The same research also revealed that if the mother's partner continues to smoke during the pregnancy then the woman is 70 per cent less likely to give up.
This is also ludicrous. Firstly the partner should show a little encouragement and kick the habit as a show of support but whether they do or they don't the father is not the parent carrying the child so is not to blame.
I hope that the reason behind this figure is a lack of education because if those who smoke are aware of the risks then shame on them.
Every pre-natal healthcare professional is likely to ask about a pregnancy woman's lifestyle including diet, fitness and smoking and drinking.
It is difficult to accept that any mother-to-be today has not been made aware of the dangers of smoking during pregnancy and yet here we are with close to 13 per cent them refusing to make the right decision.=