The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence in the UK wants all pregnant women to be given carbon monoxide tests. If it shows that the woman has been smoking, she’ll be offered help and counseling on how to stop.
Professor Mike Kelly, the director of the centre of public health excellence at NICE said, “During pregnancy, smoking puts the health of the women and her unborn baby at great risk both in the short and long-term, and small children who are exposed to second-hand smoke are more likely to suffer from respiratory problems.”
Midwives, however, are not so supportive of the recommendation, saying that it will make women feel “guilty.” I agree. This doesn’t just make women feel guilty, the assumption is that that she is guilty – and that pregnant women can’t be trusted to tell the truth about their health and habits to their doctors.
For more information on the criminalization of pregnant women, check out the National Advocates for Pregnant Women.