It is no secret that breaking an addiction to nicotine is extremely difficult, especially when adding the stress of a pregnancy or a new baby to the house. State and local health officials are working to help the 23 percent of Oneida County women who currently smoke while pregnant through the Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation’s First Breath Program. This free program provides counseling and support to pregnant women to encourage them to quit smoking and remain smoke free after the baby is born.
Smoking while pregnant can lead to a host of complications, such as miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth, low birth-weight, birth defects and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Women may have higher stress levels during pregnancy and after a new baby comes, which can tempt them to smoke even more.
“We’re excited to offer this free program to pregnant women in Oneida County. We’re here to provide support, resources, and the tools needed to help women decrease or quit tobacco use during pregnancy,” said Dawn Klink, Oneida County’s public health nurse and coordinator of the First Breath Program.
Household smoke, often referred to as secondhand smoke, is also harmful to babies and children. Studies have shown that these kids may get sick more often, can trigger asthma attacks and get more ear infections if around a higher level of secondhand smoke. For pregnant women looking to quit, please call about the First Breath program. Contact Oneida County Health Department at 715-369-6111.