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Program helps expectant mothers and fathers to bring home baby to tobacco free home

PROVO, UTAH (May 6, 2013) - - The "Baby Steps" program, offered by the Utah County Health Department (UCHD), provides education, support, and practical incentives to expecting moms and their partners during pregnancy and postpartum. The goal of the program is to provide a smoke-free home during and after pregnancy. Studies have shown this can reduce the risk of miscarriage, problems with the placenta, birth defects, low birth weight, premature delivery, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Thanks to generous grants from the March of Dimes Utah Chapter and the Utah Association of Local Health Departments, there is no cost to participate and current pregnancy is the only requirement.

"I love seeing the moms, their partners and even other support persons such as grandmas and grandpas pull together and get excited to make this change," said Janae Letterman, UCHD health educator coordinating Baby Steps. "They are so happy to be able to make a better life for themselves and especially for their baby."

Baby Steps logo

Letterman was inspired to implement "Baby Steps" after learning about other highly successful programs. This program was designed using components of several award winning evidence based programs, including The Smoking Cessation and Reduction in Pregnancy Treatment (SCRIPT) Program and Baby and Me -- Tobacco Free, and First Step. "We took what we saw as the best parts of many programs to create Baby Steps," said Letterman.

And from early participants, the results are positive. Both mothers and fathers are finding success and loving the benefits of this program. "When I'm smoking I'm always irritable and looking for that next cigarette," said Chantae D., a mom participating in Baby Steps. "I am so happy when I'm not smoking."

Sean P. , who is participating in the program, seems to have found the motivation he needed to overcome his tobacco habit. "There is nothing more worth quitting for than my wife and new baby boy."

The program uses a reduction method that helps participants become tobacco-free in 10 days, and continues to provide support and incentives for staying "quit" postpartum for up to one year after delivery.

If you or someone you care about is an expecting mother that uses tobacco and lives in Utah County, please visit us online at www.UtahCountyHealth.org/babysteps or call 801-851-7068 for more information.

The Utah County Health Department is committed to promoting the health of our community; prevent avoidable disease and injury by monitoring the health of our community; and assuring conditions in which people can be healthy. For information on UCHD programs or services, please visit www.UtahCountyHealth.org or call 801-851-7000. You can also now follow the UCHD at www.FaceBook.com/uchealth, www.Pinterest.com/uchd, or www.twitter.com/uchd.