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Pregnant women should take 'smoking test': what do you think?

(490 Posts)
RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Sun 12-May-13 10:39:45


There are reports in a couple of papers today (here and here - paywall) that NICE has recommended that all pregnant women be given a carbon monoxide test by their midwife in early pregnancy - effectively, a smoking test. If they test positive, the idea is that the midwife will signpost them to NHS smoking cessation services. The Royal College of Midwives is quoted as saying that they think the idea will adversely affect the relationship between women and their midwives.

We're getting asked what you all think about this - so do please let us know!

EuroShaggleton Sun 12-May-13 11:35:35

What the actual fuck? Intrusive nannying bullshit.

I've never smoked but I would refuse the test.

ChutesTooNarrow Sun 12-May-13 11:36:32

I was set to decline this test if offered during my recent pregnancy. Saying no to the do you smoke questions is all that is necessary, we shouldn't be making women prove it. It just another small thing that infantises women, and suggests we are incapable of honesty.

I can see it would lead to breakdown of trust with the midwife if pushed - and trust in your midwife is absolutely vital.

Greythorne Sun 12-May-13 11:38:34

Fuck that.

And that's my polite way of putting it.

WorraLiberty Sun 12-May-13 11:38:58

Ridiculous idea

It puts me in mind of drug testing criminals.

PregnantPain Sun 12-May-13 11:39:46

My midwife insisted I had that test when she did my booking, despite me telling her I had not smoked since I got the positive test 2 weeks prior.

expatinscotland Sun 12-May-13 11:41:40

'My midwife insisted I had that test when she did my booking, despite me telling her I had not smoked since I got the positive test 2 weeks prior.'

I'd have told her NO. Over and over.

FreddieMisaGREATshag Sun 12-May-13 11:45:34

I'm like expat. That's awful that your wishes were over-ridden and a test was forced on you without your consent.

K8Middleton Sun 12-May-13 11:46:39

What Vinegar said. No point doing a test unless it has the potential to change something.

If I was worried about carbon monoxide poisoning then buying a carbon monoxide detector would be a better idea? Perhaps they should hand those out to pregnant women instead? Or indeed, erm, anyone since carbon monoxide is not fussy about who it affects hmm I bought a detector after reading something on here.

SchroSawMargeryDaw Sun 12-May-13 11:53:26

They already do this here, I tried to refuse the test as I thought it was intrusive (pulls monitor out and "right, blow into this") they wouldn't let me.

I was struggling to quit at that point, I'd had a contraception failure with something I thought couldn't fail and didn't even know how far along I was, I was seriously depressed. It came up just above the clear point and the lecture I got while already completely bloody fragile riled me.

They automatically put me on the smoking cessation even though I asked not to be and I was phoned constantly until I agreed to see them.

When I got there I was given those nicotine sucky tablet things and told to use them, despite my notes saying that I was allergic and me telling them, they burn my mouth and I find it hard to breathe. Wanna know what they said to me about that? "but it will only be like that for a few minutes can you not just bear it". angry

It's intrusive. I went back for my check up (being forced to take the test again to check up on me), I hadn't smoked and it came up just higher than normal apparently because my DP smokes and there is another smoker in my house who I am sometimes around, they made me feel like shit because I hadn't made them quit smoking as well.

RubyrooUK Sun 12-May-13 11:53:50

Like someone said upthread, there is only any point testing if there is a solution to a positive result? I probably have a polluted commute - how would I change that as I work in central London?

If you lie about smoking, you are unlikely to be committed to stopping. If you tell the truth, you can be offered help to stop. So what would this test do?

The only thing it might pick up is carbon monoxide leaks at home...but that seems quite rare to me. Surely the money could be better spent in other areas of antenatal care, like more midwives altogether?

RubyrooUK Sun 12-May-13 11:55:04

Oops, too many question marks there. blush

SchroSawMargeryDaw Sun 12-May-13 11:57:33

Ruby You know you are so right about money better spent. They offered me £500 in LoveToShop vouchers to quit, presumably so I didn't spend it on fags or booze or fruit shoots or summit.


FreddieMisaGREATshag Sun 12-May-13 11:57:48

Schro - that is terrible. I am old and bolshie and I'd tell them to fuck off, but that's easy for me to say, I'm not vulnerable iyswim.

PregnantPain Sun 12-May-13 11:58:11

I can't remember the ins and outs of the conversation but I did say 'Ah that won't be necessary I quit when the line came up, haha' but she said some guff about checking anyway, this is the same midwife who booked my induction when I was 39+6 because 'you're only allowed to go 12 days over'

PregnantPain Sun 12-May-13 11:59:23

Schro how do you mean they wouldn't let you, if I'd have had enough backbone I'd have chucked it at my midwife but it was just to shut her up about it

SchroSawMargeryDaw Sun 12-May-13 12:01:26

That's the thing though, I did tell them. They just weren't taking no for an answer, like this stupid test would solve all of my problems.

I also refused the HIV blood test as have had it in last pregnancy and DS is only 19 months, DP was with me and she actually said to my DP that just because I know I haven't slept around doesn't mean he hasn't! WTF! angry

Refused it over and over and she basically wasn't letting me leave until I agreed. I immediately complained about her to my Consultant.

I think these people forget that not everyone is happy to be there, the only reason I was there is because I couldn't abort, I don't have it in me. I ended up being put on anti depressants a few months ago (29+2 just now) because I was becoming suicidal.

SchroSawMargeryDaw Sun 12-May-13 12:03:21

Pregnant Every time I refused I was given lectures on how disgusting smoking whilst pregnant is and all the things I am doing to my baby and I should take the test, basically making out that I am a shit person if I didn't let her.

When you're in a position like that and you're also at the point of wanting the world to just end around you, you lose your strength to stick up for yourself properly.

SchroSawMargeryDaw Sun 12-May-13 12:04:56

And before I get lectured on here, I know smoking whilst pregnant is bad but it wasn't at the top of my list tbh.

OrangeFootedScrubfowl Sun 12-May-13 12:08:24

In my area the midwives must stick 'Stop smoking' stickers all over your notes when you book in whether you smoke or not.
I then had consultants asking me about my nonexistant smoking every appointment.

A small waste of time and money, but still a waste in an overstretched service.

This idea is worse. Just awful.

PregnantPain Sun 12-May-13 12:08:38

That's horrible, Schro, thought my midwife was bad! I don't agree with smoking whilst pregnant but I don't judge those who continue to do so, it is your body after all! x

JulesJules Sun 12-May-13 12:08:38


It is women policing.

The pollution line is a lie. They would just think you were lying about smoking.

I would tell them fuck off no thanks

PregnantPain Sun 12-May-13 12:09:43

That happened when I was pg with DD, Orange, wacking great sticker about it on my notes, I got home and peeled the fucking thing off (I quit at the positve test then as well grin)

SchroSawMargeryDaw Sun 12-May-13 12:10:23

Luckily she isn't my MW and I never have to see her again, she's just the one that booked me in.

I bought an electric cigarette, that seemed to make them happy.

TeWiSavesTheDay Sun 12-May-13 12:18:47

Schro that's awful, I'm really sorry.

I don't smoke and never have, but I agree that tests like this are rude and intrusive, and I'd be very unhappy to have to take one.

chocolatemartini Sun 12-May-13 12:21:27

Dreadful waste of resources.

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