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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!

Snog Thu 16-May-13 09:33:11

So would the test be optional then?
How does that work?

MW: do you smoke?
Pregnant woman: no
MW: would you like me to test your breath to see if you are lying or would you prefer for me to believe what you just said to me?
Pregnant woman: why don't you go ahead and spend nhs time and money on seeing if I just told you the truth
We both know that I have nothing better to do with my time than participate in tests I do not need and that it is reasonable to assume that I tell lies. Afterall I am an adult woman who is pregnant.

I don't want to live in a country that treats women like this.

Fuckwittery Thu 16-May-13 09:56:39

Yes, the test has to be optional Snog as all healthcare interventions for are optional and must be consented to.

That is pretty much what happened in my booking in,
MW Do you smoke
Me No
MW Would you just mind me checking your CO2 levels by blowing in this?
Me hmm why, because women lie?
MW ermm, well, we have picked up people who commute and with faulty boilers but err, yes
Me Oh well, I do commute so OK then

I wasn't too arsey about it as I know the MW, and I do feel I could have said no -was interested in the effect on London pollution levels though!

ParsingFancy Thu 16-May-13 10:19:35

Out of interest Fuckwittery, what was your test result, given you commute?

(If you don't mind saying.)

Fuckwittery Thu 16-May-13 10:57:57

It was green so fine, but I don't use the tube or bike in London, I have about a 30 minute walk through central London to get to work but tend to take back roads where I can with less traffic.

ParsingFancy Thu 16-May-13 11:12:36

So I wonder what sort of commute would show up?

Especially given Mumsyblouse's post of Mon 13-May-13 10:02:31: "If you do a test on a smoker, say on 10-15 a day, you'll get a score between say 10-30... If you test non-smokers who cycle on polluted roads, it comes up between 1-2 absolute max"

Or is the commute one just another lie?

Mand1980 Thu 16-May-13 15:51:30

I have 3 kids, 14,13 & 5. And over my eldest 2 I didnt smoke or drink I did everything by the book & over the youngest 1 I did the complete oppisite & to be quite honest, the older 2 are extremly different than the youngest at his age he is calm,laid back well behaved at home & school, only diference was birth weight big ones were 7lb13oz & 7lb6oz & youngest was 5lb15oz & he is a big 5yr old he is the same height as the average 7-8yr old. So I carnt see why they want to interfere, smoking mums have been having healthy babies for decades.

HorryIsUpduffed Thu 16-May-13 16:24:16

Yes, smoking is linked with low birth weight which can cause problems. Glad he has caught up now!

5madthings Thu 16-May-13 16:38:37

Re birth weight, my babies were 8lb 7oz, 9lb 3oz, 9lb 5oz, 10lb 13oz (all boys) then I had dd 8lb exactly, whether she was small because of the occasional cigarette I had when pregnant or just because she wasa girl (girls are statistically smaller at birth) and I was not as 'overdue' with her as the others. No way of knowing, she is tall for her age at 2.5. I am not proud that I smoked in oreg but having discussed it with midwives, consultant and cpn they all agreed the occasional fat and prioritizing my mental health was more important than stressing over quitting. The consultant actually joked that given the size of my previous babies having a smaller baby would be no bad thing.

amazingmumof6 Fri 17-May-13 09:39:47

5madthings my boys were late and over 9lbs (except ds4 who was early ELSC but still 8lb 8, if 40+ he would've been the same)

dd was also late and 8lb 3

so very similar, but I don't smoke.

pixiehollow Fri 17-Feb-17 16:09:40

I was given a test after seeing my midwife and telling her I was a none smoker at 8 weeks they have never done this before!

watchingitallagain Fri 17-Feb-17 16:15:10

I had my booking appointment 4 weeks ago and a carbon monoxide test was part of it. To the point that my widowed said she couldn't click through the screen on the computer without a result....!

I maintained that I didn't smoke but was told they'd know if my central heating boiler was dicky from the test. hmm In the end I just did it. I scored 3. Apparently my boiler is probably ok.

watchingitallagain Fri 17-Feb-17 16:21:18

A widowed is obviously a midwife confused

beargrass Fri 17-Feb-17 16:22:04

No no no. Don't smoke and would refuse.

Instead of a creeping lack of consent and choice, NICE might do better to put money into things that might actually help us, such as a far less medicalised and interfering approach to birth, and help with all things post-birth such as the nightmare of BF

PencilsInSpace Fri 17-Feb-17 17:12:09

This thread is almost 4 years old grin

Pregnant women who smoke find it incredibly difficult to admit to, and if they don't admit it they can't get support to quit. So, if they test everybody, they can pick up on the women who are deeply ashamed smokers and help them give their babies the best start in life, not to mention improve their own health.

Also yes it can sometimes pick up on carbon monoxide from other sources. CO is bad for the health of both mother and child, wherever it comes from. Why wouldn't you want to know that, given how quick and non-invasive the test is?

Of course you should be allowed to refuse though, informed consent to tests and treatment is a fundamental right.

EurusHolmesViolin Sun 26-Feb-17 10:58:29

A timely reanimation though, as it's been in the news today.

Shit idea then, still a shit idea now.

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