Friday, January 28, 2011

First Breath Programs Reaches 10,000 Participants

Since the Wisconsin Women's Health Foundation's First Breath program started in 2001,10,000 pregnant women have participated, with 35% of those women, 3,500, successfully quitting smoking as a result of their involvement. Smoking during pregnancy is the leading cause of premature birth and low infant birth weight. It can also increase the risk of stillbirth and SIDS. In Wisconsin, 15% of pregnant women admit to smoking during pregnancy, according to First Breath. That's 2% more than the national average. To address this, Former First Lady Sue Ann Thompson started First Breath, a statewide, non-profit org focused on women's health. The program integrates cessation programs, including home visits and phone calls, into existing prenatal care models in an effort to ensure the baby's first breath is smoke-free!

The program estimates that since it started in 2001 it has saved almost $3 million in neonatal health care costs, according to their press release. In their release they also point out that preventing just two very low-birth weight premature babies each year saves Wisconsin Medicaid $400,000!

Congratulations to First Breath on reaching 10,000 participants! Thanks for your hard work!

To learn more about First Breath click here.

For an article on First Breath and those the program helps click here.

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