Date: 2 July 2013
Uncomplicated Births the Norm in Waikato
“Smoking is harmful to the blood vessels of the placenta, lowering the oxygen and food supply to the growing baby. It is never too late to give up smoking in pregnancy. By quitting, the woman can help reduce the risk of premature birth, sudden infant death syndrome, stillbirth and low birth weight,” said Ms Chaney.
“Quitting can also reduce the risk of the placenta detaching from the womb causing death of the baby and serious risk to the mother because of blood loss. Smoking in pregnancy is linked with lifelong effects on the baby’s brain like learning disorders and behaviour problems. Midwives can help a woman to quit smoking,” she said.
The DHB uses the Ministry of Health data each year to benchmark itself against its peers.
“The wider challenge for the maternity quality safety programme in Waikato is for us to also look within the DHB at all our births and how services are being delivered to particular at risk groups such as very young mothers, women who need their long term conditions cared for during their pregnancy and women who have delayed having a family until they are in their later fertility years, as these women may need additional care during pregnancy and have higher risks during birth,” said Mrs Roodt.