Pregnant women are getting an additional incentive to kick their smoking habit.
In addition to better health for them and their babies, moms-to-be who successfully quit smoking will receive up to 12 months of free diapers after their baby is born.
The incentive is part of the Baby & Me Tobacco Free program that helps pregnant women quit smoking and maintain smoking cessation through the postpartum period and beyond.
The Baby & Me Tobacco Free program originally was started by the Bartholomew County Health Department in response to the above-average rate of tobacco use within Bartholomew County, said Victoria Yeaton, marketing and events coordinator for Clarity of South Central Indiana.
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Bartholomew County’s rate of smoking during pregnancy was 16.2 percent and Jennings County’s was 27.1 percent in 2015, according to the Indiana State Department of Health.
Both counties have higher rates than Indiana’s statewide 14.3 percent.
Tobacco use during pregnancy can cause health problems for both baby and mother, including increased risk of premature birth, low birth weight, miscarriage, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and birth defects, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Due to problems finding and keeping participants in the program, it was taken over by Clarity in April 2016, Yeaton said.
Baby & Me Tobacco Free is research-based and utilizes cessation methods and guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Yeaton said.
Cessation success and eligibility for free diapers is measured by taking a carbon monoxide breath test, according to the Baby and Me Tobacco Free site. After the birth of the baby, women return monthly to continue with the testing to assure they have not returned to smoking.
In its first year since Clarity took over, the program attracted 25 participants.
Four of the women have had their children, completed both the prenatal and postnatal sessions and have not returned to smoking, Yeaton said.
Another six have quit smoking and are still in either prenatal or postnatal sessions.
Katherine Frazier of Hope is one such participant.
She and husband Johnathan decided to give the program a chance shortly after learning she was pregnant.
“(We wanted) our baby to be healthy,” Katherine Frazier said.
Frazier used to smoke about half a pack of cigarettes a day and had tried quitting twice before without success, one of the times going cold turkey.
The program and its free-diaper incentive gave her the push she needed to succeed, Frazier said.
“With Clarity I did it cold-turkey again, but this time someone held me accountable and gave me a little extra oomph,’” Frazier said.
The program also allows dads-to-be to participate for free, so Johnathan — who had also tried to quit smoking twice before — joined in and also successfully quit.
“It did help that we were both quitting together,” Katherine Frazier said.
The Fraziers welcomed a healthy baby girl named Quinley into the world on May 27.
Katherine Frazier said the free diapers have been a huge help and money saver.
Clarity is hoping to double the number of Baby & Me Tobacco Free participants for the second year year, Yeaton said.
The Baby & Me Tobacco Free program participants will complete four prenatal counseling cessation sessions and take a breath test using a carbon monoxide monitor. Upon the birth of their baby, women continue the tests monthly to receive vouchers for free diapers.
Program and supplies are completely funded by Anthem, so there is no cost to participants.
For more information or to enroll, contact Clarity Pregnancy Services at 812-378-4730 or visit babyandmetobaccofree.com.
Clarity is located at 2420 E. Seventh St., Columbus.