12:26pm Thursday 02 April 2020

Tobacco-cessation program helps pregnant smokers

COMMIT (Circle of Motivated Moms for Infants to be Tobacco-free), targets expectant moms who are under- or uninsured.

“Georgia is the only state in the country that does not have Medicaid coverage for pregnant smokers,” said Dr. Janie Health, associate dean of academic affairs for the MCG School of Nursing and director of clinical outcomes for the Tobacco Cessation Clinic. “Georgia is also higher than the national average in infant mortality, premature births and low-birth-weight babies. We know smoking impacts the poor health of these babies.”

Based on the university’s ongoing tobacco-cessation program, COMMIT offers weekly two-hour group sessions covering such topics as stress management, coping mechanisms, nicotine withdrawal and nutrition. The program includes a thorough physical examination and medical history. Each mom is partnered with a graduate nursing student from the clinical nurse leader program who offers weekly follow up care through delivery, then monthly for the first year after treatment.

“The group counseling is very important,” said Heath. “It’s the premise behind the circle of motivated moms. These moms come in thinking the cigarette is their best friend. We help them make other choices. That’s part of the empowerment we’re hoping to instill.”

Funded by a March of Dimes chapter grant, the program will initially serve 24 participants. To learn more, contact COMMIT at 706-721-1195.

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