Mum-to-be calls it quits

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Moana Ngatai. Photo/supplied
Moana Ngatai. Photo/supplied

Mum-to-be Moana Ngatai has given up smoking for the sake of her unborn son and is encouraging other expectant mums to do the same.

The 32-year-old from Matakana Island is pregnant with her second child but said giving up smoking this time was much harder than for her first pregnancy.

"The first pregnancy I gave up smoking straight away but I have a lot more stresses this time around," Ms Ngatai said.

"I have two step-daughters as well as my 12-year-old daughter, so I already have three children to look after and that comes with its pressures. I know how difficult it can be and why people often need support."

I'm an avid radio listener and I would often hear the radio adverts about quitting. When I first heard them I would turn the radio down because I felt guilty, I didn't want to hear it, but it was still kicking away at my conscience
Moana Ngatai


That support will be found for many at the "Ūkaipō" Wahine Maori - Strengthening Whanau programme which runs over three days, starting on 1 November, at Maungatapu Marae.

The interactive programme has been designed to provide pregnant women and their whanau with information and skills to become smokefree, said facilitator Tiana Bennett, from the Western Bay of Plenty PHO (WBOPPHO), in a statement released by the Bay of Plenty District Health Board.

The WBOPPHO is co-hosting the event with the Bay of Plenty District Health Board and Te Kupenga Hauora.

"Over the three days, there will be guest speakers, participation in interactive workshops, carbon monoxide monitoring and incentives offered as an encouragement for the pregnant woman, and support person, to quit smoking; as well as follow-up appointments if required," said Ms Bennett.

"The risks to an unborn child, when a pregnant woman smokes, are well-documented and most pregnant women are aware of at least some risks. Despite this, not all pregnant women cease or reduce smoking. We're aiming to increase the number of Maori women in the Tauranga area going smokefree."

Ms Ngatai has been smokefree for three weeks now but said it was hard taking the final step to quit.

"I'm an avid radio listener and I would often hear the radio adverts about quitting. When I first heard them I would turn the radio down because I felt guilty, I didn't want to hear it, but it was still kicking away at my conscience.

"I was on patches for three days and I've taken up sewing as a way of taking my mind off smoking. I'm also trying different ways of coping with stressful situations, different tactics, rather than reaching for a cigarette," she said.

"I'm someone who is always trying to do the best by other people and for my family and that is what I'm doing now for my son."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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