Midwives launch screening service

A group at the launch of CO monitoring service for pregnant women at Montrose Infirmary on Tuesday morning. Pictured are, from left - Sarah Semple, midwifery ward assistant; Nikki Stewart, Jemma Ritchie and Jamie Thomson holding baby Thomson at the front; and Bonnie Troup, public health nurse (Health Improvement). Nikki, Jemma and Jamie have all successfully taken part in NHS Tayside's 'Give it up for Baby' stop smoking scheme.

A group at the launch of CO monitoring service for pregnant women at Montrose Infirmary on Tuesday morning. Pictured are, from left - Sarah Semple, midwifery ward assistant; Nikki Stewart, Jemma Ritchie and Jamie Thomson holding baby Thomson at the front; and Bonnie Troup, public health nurse (Health Improvement). Nikki, Jemma and Jamie have all successfully taken part in NHS Tayside's 'Give it up for Baby' stop smoking scheme.

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A screening service aimed at improving the health of pregnant women and their babies was launched last Tuesday by midwives across Tayside.

They will now be offering carbon monoxide (CO) monitoring to all pregnant women when they attend their first antenatal appointment.

Carbon monoxide is a colourless, toxic gas which is produced when anything burns. It is found in cigarette smoke, vehicle exhaust fumes and can be emitted from faulty gas appliances.

Information stands were held at Ninewells Hospital and in the Community Maternity Unit at Montrose Infirmary.

The stands were manned by midwives and smoking cessation coordinators who provided information on the new CO monitoring service and demonstrated how the carbon monoxide monitor worked. They also gave out information on how to stop smoking as well as the risks associated with passive smoking.

The simple test involves breathing into a CO monitor which then detects and measures the level of carbon monoxide in both the woman and her unborn child.

As part of the screening service midwives will explain the health effects of high CO levels on the woman’s pregnancy and her unborn baby.

Smoking during pregnancy or being exposed to passive smoking can increase the risk of miscarriage and premature birth. Children of parents who smoke tend to suffer from more respiratory problems such as asthma or bronchitis.