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Baby & Me Tobacco Free Program Has Been Successful in Ste Genevieve

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The BABY & ME – Tobacco Free Program is a smoking cessation program for pregnant women and their families. It helps pregnant women and a support partner quit smoking while pregnant and then remain quit after baby is born. Through a series of face-to-face counseling sessions, women and their families are given tools and support needed to make a successful quit attempt and are rewarded with FREE DIAPERS and/or Wipes in the form of a voucher (gift card) for their success. Research has shown that incentives, such as diapers, are a unique and positive motivator to aid in behavior change. We know that encouraging pregnant women to quit smoking is vital to ensuring the best birth outcomes.

Pregnant women who smoke have an extra motivation to quit – the health of their unborn child. Smoking during pregnancy can lead to low birthweights infants, and premature birth. In the longer term, maternal smoking during pregnancy is associated with a range of poor outcomes in children including ADHD, and cognitive dysfunction. Children who grow up in smoke-free homes enjoy many health benefits, so it is equally important to remain quit.

Our local program has helped many women with cessation efforts both during pregnancy and after delivery. If the participant completes the program successfully, which means they have stayed quit for a year after delivery, they are asked to comment about the program in writing. A few of the comments are listed below:

“It helped me so much! I needed good support. It has made my life more affordable”

“Baby and me tobacco free really helped me quit smoking. The pamphlets about the effects on me and my baby really opened my eyes to how dangerous continuing to smoke would be. I am beyond thankful for them helping me to live a smoke free life.”

“I was a smoker for 5yrs before I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. She was my motivation to quit. I had quit before with each of my other pregnancies but I always stated back up when life got too stressful. This was my last pregnancy. I knew I had to make quitting stick this time. My pregnancies were always my reason for quitting and nothing else worked. Staying quit was easier this time. I had a great support system and the program BMTF was a great help with information and the vouchers helped a lot.”

For those interested in helping the next generation live tobacco-free and learning more about the BABY & ME – Tobacco Free Program please call the Ste. Genevieve County Health Department @ (573) 883-7411. Ask to talk to Diana.

For more information about the program you can also go to www.babyandmetobaccofree.org.