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How to Motivate and Counsel Pregnant Smokers*

A significant number of women smoke during pregnancy, a risk factor for preterm labor, low birthweight, SIDS, and other poor health outcomes. Midwives are in a unique position to assist pregnant women with a quit attempt. The session will teach participants how to use motivational interviewing and how to counsel pregnant smokers. The Cochrane Review (2017) found “moderate-to-high” quality evidence demonstrating that psychosocial interventions increase the quit rate among pregnant smokers. Counseling the pregnant smoker follows the framework of 5As tobacco counseling: Ask, Advise, Assess, Assist, and Arrange. We will focus on the “Assist” step. We will discuss the basics of motivational interviewing and provide attendees an opportunity to practice motivational interviewing and learn skills to help pregnant smokers set a quit date, fight cravings, break habits, and quit for good. Midwives who offer group prenatal care (Centering Pregnancy) will learn how to raise the subject of maternal smoking in a group setting, and how to guide the group into providing helpful support and suggestions to a pregnant smoker. In addition, participants will learn how to make the subject of smoking relevant to every member of the group, regardless of whether they smoke or not.

*Bridge Category 1

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