'They won't let me out for a cigarette': One Born Every Minute reality show causes outrage after 17-year-old in labour reveals she was smoking while pregnantTeenage mother in labour banned from smoking at hospital
Thousands of viewers take to Facebook to slam Jess for endangering baby
Viewers of One Born Every Minute were left outraged last night after a teenager revealed that she continued smoking during pregnancy.
Focusing on single parents, the reality show followed 17-year-old Jessica as she went into labour at Leeds General Infirmary.
With cameras rolling at her bedside, the mother-to-be told friends that it was only hospital restrictions stopping her from having a cigarette.
Jessica, 17, starred in this week's episode of One Born Every Minute
In one clip her boyfriend Nathaniel drinks from a can of Red Bull, as his sister Devinya asks: 'Have you been out for a cig and that'
To which heavily pregnant Jess replies: 'I’m not allowed.'
After the hour-long episode aired, a debate on Jess' smoking habit erupted on Facebook, attracting more than 1,300 comments.
Commenting on Channel 4's official fan page Catherine 'Patch' Roper said: 'It's not her age that matters though. I don't care if she's 17 or 71. Smoking in pregnancy is a disgusting selfish thing to do.'
While Aimee Eustace said: 'What a shame that young girl couldn't have made an effort to give up smoking, my son wasn't planned.
'I was 29 when I had him and had smoked since I was around 16 but hard as it was, I gave up for him.'
Jess' boyfriend Nathaniel and his sister Devinya pay a visit to the hospital
Jess describes that her situation as a single parent isn't ideal
Rachel Stocker added: 'My own mum smoked throughout her pregnancy with me.
'I'd like to think she did a good job
bringing me up (as a single mother) but the fact is I have health
problems caused by her smoking during pregnancy and passive smoking when
I was a baby/toddler.
'These health problems wouldn't
necessarily manifest themselves when your child is young. You can't
anticipate the effect smoking will have on your baby – and if there's
any effect at all it's not exactly going to be a good one.'
Lynette Wright wrote: 'My daughter
was born at 28 weeks and it used to make me so angry to see pregnant
women outside the maternity unit smoking fag after fag without a second
thought for their unborn child, when my daughter was fighting for her
life every day.
'If you cant stop smoking when you're pregnant when can you'
SMOKING: THE EFFECTS ON BABY'S HEALTH
If you smoke during pregnancy, your baby:
Is at increased risk of stillbirth
Is more likely to be born early (prematurely; before week 37 of the pregnancy), which can cause feeding, breathing and health problems
Won’t cope as well with any birth complications
Is more likely to be born underweight. On average, babies of smokers are 200g (8oz) lighter than other babies
Is more likely to have a problem keeping warm
Is at increased risk of cot death
Is more likely to get infections as a child, such as inflammation of the middle ear, and have health conditions that require hospital treatment, such as asthma
Is more likely to smoke when they’re older
However, many on the Facebook page also defended the teen's right to smoke.
One user, Lisa Hardy, said: 'I had my
lil boy at 20 and smoked while pregnant. My lil man's weight was
amazing and he's a healthy two-year-old. Stop judging others.'
The end of the programme shows Jess giving birth to a baby girl Rikeya, weighing 6lbs 12oz.
Her baby wasn't planned and she
describes that, although she is in a relationship with boyfriend
Nathaniel, the situation isn't ideal.
'I did want to be in a stable relationship to have a baby, but it hasn’t worked. you don’t need a relationship to be happy
'It would be a lot harder being a single parent than it would being in a couple obviously.
'But come on 13 year olds girls and 12 year old girls can do it then surely I can do it.'
Her mother Tracey, who fell pregnant at 18, also expresses disappointment at the turn of events.
'Jess didn’t tell me she was pregnant it was a friend I felt pretty disappointed actually
'I was 18 when I had my eldest so I were disappointed in Jess. I expected a little bit more.'
The teenager has also been slammed over a closing statement featured on the show stating: 'Since the programme was made, doubts have been raised about the paternity of Jess’ baby.
'Nathaniel and Jess are awaiting the outcome of paternity tests.'
The NHS states: 'Smoking during pregnancy can seriously harm both your own and your baby's health.
'Cigarettes contain more than 4,000 chemicals. When you smoke, the chemicals stop oxygen and essential nutrients from reaching your unborn baby. '
One Born Every Minute is a British reality television programme which shows selected footage detailing childbirth.
There have been three UK series and one US series and the first won a 2010 BAFTA for best factual show.
One Born Every Minute, Wednesday 9pm, Channel 4