Frankston hospital has marked a major milestone in improving the health of expectant mothers and their unborn children - becoming the first antenatal service in Victoria to refer 100 pregnant women to the Quitline (13 7848).
Quit Pregnancy project officer Laura Zarpellon said it was a fantastic result.
"Frankston hospital and their dedicated team of midwives should be congratulated for trying to help so many pregnant women stop smoking or cutback the amount they smoke."
"Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), miscarriage and stillbirth. Quitting is the best thing pregnant women can do for their own health and that of their baby."
Frankston hospital has been referring women to the Quitline since the National Smokefree Pregnancy Project commenced in Victoria two years ago. 20 antenatal clinics across the state are involved in the project.
Under the program, women attending routine antenatal clinics who identify themselves as smokers are provided with smoking cessation advice and referred to the Quitline.
Quitline counsellors then ring the women to offer ongoing support.
"Among our partners in the project, the team at Frankston Hospital are the standout in terms of the number of referrals they make and their commitment to supporting women to manage their smoking while pregnant," Ms Zarpellon said.
Manager of Women's Services at Frankston Hospital, Della Attwood, said it was fantastic to be involved in the program.
"Not all the women we refer to the Quitline will quit smoking but if we can at least get them thinking about their smoking or making a quit attempt, then that's a win for us. It means they're closer to quitting for good."
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