Kettering health: Smoking in pregnancy remains main concern

Smoking while pregnant is a particular health problem in Kettering
Smoking while pregnant is a particular health problem in Kettering

More mums-to-be in the Kettering area are smoking in pregnancy compared to the national average.

While Kettering is better than the national average in many categories, particularly in terms of deprivation, levels of smoking in both expectant mothers and among adults in general are far above the national average.

A spokesman for the NHS said: “NHS Northamptonshire offers a Stop Smoking Service, which provides a tailored programme to encourage, motivate and support pregnant smokers and their families to stop smoking.

“One-to-one clinics are held in venues across the county in a confidential and non-judgmental setting with access to Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) that is safe to use during pregnancy and beyond.”

As well as having more smokers than average, there are also more obese adults than average across the Kettering area and about one in six schoolchildren in Year 6 are obese.

Kettering mum Cristina Willis was told she needed to lose weight otherwise she would suffer serious back problems later in life.

She has since shed 5st and is using her story to help others after setting up a Slimming World group in the town.

Cristina said: “The feedback I get from people who have lost weight is really positive.

“I’ve spoken to people who have type 2 diabetes who have been able to reduce their medication, people whose blood pressure has come down massively and one man who was told by his doctor that his cholesterol was too high managed to get it to a normal level in just a few weeks after he lost two stone.

“Losing weight can also motivate people to, for example, get jobs if they are unemployed, as it makes you feel better about yourself and happier in general.”

Tomorrow: Focus on East Northamptonshire health