Public Health – Smokefree Pregnancies / Homes - Bloomin', Blossom and Walsall Mommas

I was smoking around 25 roll ups a day at the beginning of this pregnancy, and that means now I’ve quit I save about 40 quid a week. It’s unbelievable really, how much you spend. I’ve started putting some of it away for the kids’ Christmas and it’s going to make a very big difference.” Maria, participant, Bloomin’ project.

Engaging with pregnant women who smoked was the initial challenge for Creative Health’s Smokefree Pregnancy contract. Why would you smoke when midwives were wagging their finger and telling you how bad it was, both for you and your unborn child?

To kick off the consultation, a comedienne delivered a stand-up routine about her “pregnant smoking daughter” in local social clubs, and invited women to join her outside to give her advice about what to do.

Then a visual artist worked with young women living in a hostel for teenage mothers to create pictures for their homes, and as they participated, they talked about their smoking.

This initial research phase paved the way for highly creative interventions, from the Bloomin’ magazine to an animated film featuring the Walsall Mommas.

All succeeded in pushing home this vital message in a way women had indicated it would be well-received – by helping them understand how much money they would save for example, and gently but firmly showing EXACTLY what their smoke was doing to their unborn child – both during pregnancy and possibly for the rest of its life.

Lead workers on projects were invited to national antenatal conferences as a result of the success of these creative interventions, to share good practice.


Read the Bloomin’ story here (PDF)

Watch the Walsall Mommas here: