A NEW MUM from Ashton has inspired other expectant mothers who smoke after she kicked the habit while pregnant.
Alysha recently welcomed newborn son, Isaiah, into the world and hopes her story will encourage others to follow her example.
Alysha's journey to quit smoking while pregnant is part of a positive change in the community - recent statistics from between July and September this year show only 7.5% of expectant mothers in Tameside were smokers at the time of delivery.
Upon discovering she was pregnant, Alysha thought about giving up smoking because of the risks posed to her baby's health. Alysha said: "When I saw the midwife and she gave me all the information about the risks to my baby before and after it was born, I knew stopping smoking was the best thing for my partner and me to do."
This achievement reflects the efforts of the Smokefree Pregnancy Team at Tameside Hospital's Maternity Unit, who provide personalised support to expectant mothers. Their work has helped reduce the number of pregnant smokers, from nearly one in four (23.1%) in 2010/11 to now under one in ten.
Quitting smoking before or during pregnancy is crucial for the health and wellbeing of both the mother and the baby. The poisonous gas, carbon monoxide, released during smoking, can harm unborn babies, increasing the risk of complications such as miscarriage, premature birth, low birth weight, and stillbirth.
Cllr Eleanor Wills, Tameside Council Executive Member for Population Health and Wellbeing, said: "Alysha's story is one that will inspire other expectant mums and I'm very grateful to her for sharing her story.
"Getting help and support can triple smokers' chances of quitting successfully. Our local services stepping up to provide mums-to-be with the support they need is a vital step towards improving the health and wellbeing not just of babies but their families too."
Alysha has some final words of encouragement for any pregnant smokers. She said: "Think about your baby's needs before your own so you can give them the perfect start to life."