New guideleines are coming into place by which pregnent women will be made to take breath tests to see if they’ve been truthful about their smoking habits. The checks will be carried out by midwives at the first ante-natal appointment and those who are found to have high levels of carbon monoxide in their system will be given ‘appropriate support’ on quitting.
Not surprisingly, these new guideleines have sparked outrage from both women and midwives alike. Mumsnet have called the move ‘utter meddlesome nonsense’ and ‘intrusive nannying’ and members of the community not being a bit backward at coming forward with their opinions n the matter.
The test won’t be compulsory although women may feel pressured to take the test when it is offered in a hopsital situation.
Louise Silverton, who is the director of midwifery for the Royal College Of Midwives has said: ‘It is a bit draconian. They are asking us to test each pregnant woman for carbon monoxide on their very first visit. It is not allowing women to say no or midwives to use their judgment. And it puts pressure on the first visit when a lot of women are already dealing with a lot of information and stress. Our concerns are they may just say no. All you can really do is make sure that women understand the risks.’