Quitting gave me a healthy baby and it’s great to know that I am giving us both a healthier future. I feel much better since quitting, and I’m so happy that my house is now smokefree.
Tierney-Rose Holmes, from Rochdale, started smoking as a teenager and had tried to quit several times but relapsed each time. She eventually found her incentive to quit for good in spring 2019 when she fell pregnant with her first baby. Tierney-Rose instantly knew that she had to stop smoking to give herself and her baby a healthier future.
I wanted to do everything I could to ensure that my baby was safe and well. I researched how to give her the best start in life and had read that having a cigarette when pregnant was like putting a baby in a smoke-filled room for five minutes. I didn’t want that for her.
With the support of Greater Manchester’s Smokefree Pregnancy Programme and her Maternity Support Worker, Jo Pinder, Tierney quit successfully and is now enjoying a smokefree life with her one-year-old daughter Maddie.
Tierney-Rose, 21, said: “I started smoking when I was around 13 or 14, as my friends at school had started to experiment with cigarettes. I joined in as I wanted to fit in. At the time, I thought it was cool but looking back I realise it wasn’t.
“In the beginning, I didn’t smoke much, but it soon crept up and I was regularly going through 10 to 20 cigarettes a day before I quit. It depended on my routine, for example if I was at work, I would smoke less but if I was out socialising, I would smoke more. It ended up being an expensive addiction. However, you don’t think about it at the time – it’s only now that I realise how much money I could have saved. £10 a day can go a long way.”
Tierney-Rose, who works part-time for an accountancy consultancy, had tried numerous times to quit smoking but found that most attempts were short-lived.
“I grew up in a smoking household and smoking was part of my social scene, so it was hard to stay away from it for long. Every time I tried to quit; I could only ever manage to quit for a few days at a time. I think it’s because I needed a bigger reason to stop.”
That bigger reason came in spring 2019 when Tierney-Rose found out she was pregnant. She and her partner at the time realised that they needed to make some lifestyle changes before becoming parents.
“It was such a happy moment when my partner and I found out that we were expecting a baby. But we needed to shake ourselves up a bit and make some changes. We were young and there were some things that we needed to stop doing, smoking being one of them.
“I had smoked for almost six years and knew I would need help to quit successfully. So, when I was asked if I smoked at my first midwife appointment, I was honest and said yes. I told the midwife that I desperately wanted to quit, and I was relieved to find that I would receive stop smoking support as part of my prenatal journey at Rochdale Infirmary.
“I wanted to do everything I could to ensure that my baby was safe and well. I researched how to give her the best start in life and had read that having a cigarette when pregnant was like putting a baby in a smoke-filled room for five minutes. I didn’t want that for her.”
Tierney-Rose received face-to-face support from Stop Smoking Specialist Maternity Support Worker Jo Pinder during her pregnancy and says she became more like a friend.
Jo was amazing. She was so supportive and took the time to listen to everything that was going on in my life at the time. We developed a really strong relationship, and she became a friend during that time. I honestly believe that if wasn’t for Jo, I wouldn’t have quit smoking and I would still be smoking today.
“It wasn’t easy quitting, especially as people I knew still smoked. I knew that options such as nicotine-replacement therapy were there and are a good support for people, but I managed to stop without. I found it hardest towards the end of my pregnancy and when Maddie was born, as adjusting to being a new mum was stressful. However, with Jo’s support I got through the tough times and I’ve now been smokefree for nearly two years.”
As an expectant parent who smokes, Tierney-Rose qualified for incentives and received these in the form of Love to Shop vouchers.
“The vouchers were a nice extra. I bought nappies for the baby and then at the end of the series I was able to buy something nice for myself – a new outfit.”
Baby Maddison was born on New Years Eve, 2019 and Tierney-Rose feels blessed to have a beautiful, healthy daughter. She wants to let everyone know how much better she feels since quitting and to encourage other parents-to-be to give quitting a go.
“Quitting gave me a healthy baby and it’s great to know that I am giving us both a healthier future. I feel much better since quitting, and I’m so happy that my house is now smokefree.
“My advice to other parents-to-be is think of your kids, it’s our choice to smoke but it’s not theirs. Give quitting a go, and make sure you get support and find the right way to quit for you. If I can do it, so can you.”