It's a must-watch show full of drama, reality and heart-soaring real live births. But Channel 4 hit show One Born Every Minute has hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons this week, reports the Daily Mail.
Wednesday's episode showed a 17-year-old first time mum admit she smoked during her pregnancy, and even aired a clip of the mum complaining she wasn't allowed a fag break during her labour.
Jessica, who was filmed in labour at Leeds' General Infirmary, was asked by her boyfriend Nathaniel's sister, Devinya if she had managed to get outside for a cigarette during her labour. Jessica replied, "I'm not allowed."
Her comments sparked a debate on the show's official Facebook page, with many users slating the new mum.
"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," commented one mum, while another added: "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."
Another, Rachel Stocker, who has first hand experience of the dangers of smoking while pregnant said: "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."
She admitted her pregnancy wasn't planned and as the credits rolled on the episode, it was announced that since the programme was made, doubts have been raised about the paternity of Jess's baby, closing with the statement: "Nathaniel and Jess are awaiting the outcome of paternity tests."
It is estimated 17 per cent of mums-to-be smoke during pregnancy. It is linked to low-birth weight, increased risk of stillbirth and health conditions such as asthma.
Jacqui Clinton, Health Campaigns Director for Tommy's the baby charity, says: "Poor diet, obesity, lack of physical activity, smoking and mental health problems can all impact on the healthy development of the baby."
For help quitting, visit Smokefree.nhs.uk.
What did you make of Jess' story?
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