More support needed around smoking in pregnancy and obesity

By Julie Griffiths on 23 May 2018 Obesity Smoking Wales

The RCM in Wales is calling for more investment and support around obesity and smoking in pregnancy at the TUC Wales Conference today (23 May).

The RCM Wales motion – Public health an investment in the future – focuses on smoking and weight management in pregnancy and will be presented by RCM director for Wales Helen Rogers. 
In the motion, RCM Wales calls on the Welsh Government to invest in public health as an investment for the future health of the nation.

The motion also calls on the TUC General Council to help make the case for government investment in public health services. Key elements call for the development of an all-Wales approach to improve smoking cessation strategies and services for women who smoke during pregnancy. It asks for more support too, for women to maintain a healthy weight prior to and during pregnancy.

Welsh Government statistics show that nearly a fifth (18.4%) of pregnant women were smokers at the time of the first assessment 10 weeks into their pregnancy, and more than a quarter (27.5%) were obese.

Helen said: ‘There is no doubt that much more needs to be done to improve overall public health in Wales. We also need to see more investment to improve the health of women, especially those who are pregnant or thinking of having a baby.
‘If we can reduce levels of smoking and obesity in pregnancy we can improve women’s health, and help to give their babies the best possible start in life. Smoking in particular is linked to a higher chance of having a stillbirth.

‘We must invest now in our public health for the long term health and financial benefit of Wales.’

RCM Wales is also supporting two other motions at the Congress – one from the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy that calls on the TUC General Council to work with the NHS Partnership Forum to develop and implement an all-Wales Menopause Workplace Policy.  

The second is from the Society of Radiographers that asks to ensure that there is a Union Learning Representative (ULR) in every department and every hospital ward across NHS Wales.

The Wales TUC Congress began yesterday (22 May) and will run until 24 May. 

For more information visit the TUC website.