Program hopes getting moms to stop smoking results in fewer premature births

Published: Apr. 10, 2014 at 5:24 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A new program in Baton Rouge is hoping to lower the number of premature babies in Louisiana by getting moms to stop smoking while pregnant.

Family Road of Greater Baton Rouge announced Thursday it will be starting a program called Baby & Me - Tobacco Free.

According to doctors, more than 9,000 babies born in Louisiana are either premature or don't weigh enough, which are side effects of smoking while pregnant.

The goal of this new program is to monitor moms and their babies to help the mother to kick the habit.

"A lot of moms will quit while they're pregnant, but they will go back to smoking right away after the baby comes," said Ashlee Menke, health education director. "So, we're teaching them don't give in to that. Don't give up the hard work you've done."

Part of the program requires the mom to be tested for carbon monoxide in order to make sure she is smoke free.

Once the baby is born, those tests continue. As part of the incentive, if she stays smoke free, she can get $25 vouchers for diapers.

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