Wisconsin woman appears in PSA about smoking during pregnancy

By Terry Kovarik | terry.kovarik@wearegreenbay.com

Published 07/15 2014 05:31PM

Updated 07/15 2014 05:46PM

De PERE (WFRV) Expectant mom's in Wisconsin are leading the nation in a category that has state health care advocates alarmed.

"13-percent of pregnant women in Wisconsin smoke, which is above the national average," said Tommi Thompson, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Women's Health Foundation, at a news conference at De Pere City Hall.

Wisconsin native Amanda Brendan is doing her part to help moms-to-be stop smoking. She's employed by the Wisconsin Women's Health Foundation. Amanda was approached by the Centers for Disease Control to find someone who smoked during pregnancy to share how it affected their children. Amanda volunteered herself for a nationwide television public service announcement.

"At a young age, my daughter developed asthma and allergies at a young age. She's now seven and she takes multiple medications on a daily basis," Brendan said.

Treatments that can result be costly over the long term.

"Without insurance, that inhaler is two-hundred and seventy-five dollars and it only lasts for two-months. The albutarol inhalers are almost a hundred dollars," Brendan added.

The public service announcement was shot in a neo-natal intensive care unit, which hit too close to home for Brendan.

"I did not get to see her right away when she was first born. The Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit was a scary place to be as a new mom," she said.

  Women who need help quitting smoking before or during pregnancy can contact "First Breath", a program sponsored by the Wisconsin Women's Health Foundation, at (800) 448-5148.

Local 5's Terry Kovarik has the details.

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