Johnny and Charity Outram of Windsor both quit smoking before the arrival of their son, Preston, and received support from the Baby & Me Tobacco Free program offered at Golden Valley Memorial Healthcare.
Sometimes the right motivation is all it takes.
Just ask Charity and Johnny Outram of Windsor, proud parents of 11-month-old Preston. The blond, curly-haired boy is spending the first year of his life in a smoke-free home because of a program offered by Golden Valley Memorial Healthcare.
Charity, 22, and Johnny, 23, both smoked a pack of cigarettes a day. When Charity learned she was pregnant, she quit. Then she learned about the Baby & Me Tobacco Free program at GVMH, which made her decision a smart choice by rewarding her with diapers during her prenatal visits.
When the program expanded to give diapers to another member of the household for quitting, Johnny received the boost he needed.
“Both are very competitive,” said Ronda Glaspy, Birthing Center Director at GVMH. She said Charity and Johnny both want zeros on their tobacco use test results. The Baby & Me program includes four visits before the baby is born and monthly visits afterwards for a year. The individuals who quit and stay that way receive diaper vouchers – plus the moral support needed to make the lifestyle change permanent, she added.
Not spending money on cigarettes helps, but the Outrams say the biggest advantage is a healthy son.
“Too many people decide to think about themselves instead of their baby,” Charity said. “They care more about their habits than their health.”
The couple says teamwork was key. “I couldn’t have done it without her,” Johnny said. Charity added, “I gave him a loving nudge.”
Both agree the decision had to be their own. Charity tried quitting twice before, she said. Johnny said he tried “slowing down” but becoming a father had the biggest impact. The couple also agreed that staying tobacco-free isn’t easy but they would gladly follow the same path.
“Knowing how he would turn out would have made it much easier at the time.” Johnny said. “It’s still hard, but (Preston) doesn’t have a choice. He can’t choose whether he wants a cigarette or not.”
To learn more about Baby & Me Tobacco Free, please call the GVMH Birthing Center at 660-890-7371 or the GVMH OB Counselor at 660-890-8411.