Two in One…

When a woman is pregnant, she is eating and drinking for two.  That means that anything she consumes that will affect her, will affect the baby twice as much if not more.  The mother is able to control what she takes in, so she should be aware that some substances are harmful to both her and the baby.  The most harmful substances that a woman can consume while pregnant are drugs and alcohol.  Being pregnant is something that a woman should cherish, not abuse.

If a pregnant woman consumes either drugs or alcohol, it can cause major birth defects and health problems for both of them.  Among the majority of birth defects that can happen, alcohol syndrome and Down syndrome are the most common.  When drinking alcohol while pregnant, the mother is passing it down to the child as well which will affect its health during and after the pregnancy.  Drinking alcohol during a pregnancy can give the child Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.  It is the only health deficiency that is 100% preventable.  The way to prevent is to not drink any bit of alcohol while being pregnant; there is no safe amount to drink that is consumable.  Up to 40,000 babies are born in the U.S. with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome each year.  Since alcohol is a teratogen, a substance that causes development problems, it causes the child to be born with deformities different from other kids in their physical features, mental and neurobehavioral birth defects.

drinkA child who was born with FAS, their brain either developed differently or didn’t fully develop at all unlike a child without FAS.  These are lifetime affects that are irreversible. Alcohol passes through the placenta to the baby.  A baby is much smaller than an adult so the alcohol breaks down more slowly than in a grown person.  The alcohol will remain in a baby’s blood longer than in the blood of its mother, thus leading to possible irreversible harm to the baby’s development.   The baby is in a constant state of growth and development during the entire pregnancy.

Consuming drugs is equally harmful if not more harmful than drinking alcohol.  Drugs that contain nicotine can cause more severe mental and physical problems for children.  Nicotine can affect the health of a fully grown adult, so it is more harmful to a baby. It increases the heart rate of the mother which doubles the baby’s heart rate.  Smoking is also dangerous for a baby and a pregnant mother.  No matter what a pregnant mother smokes, the smoke affects her breathing and the baby’s breathing. The smoke makes it harder for the baby to breath by blocking the airways that pass oxygen to the child. A pregnant mother that smokes can make the child develop respiratory problems. The smoke gets into child’s lungs along with the nicotine in their blood system.

Woman Holding Pregnant Belly

Smoking and consuming drugs is the main cause of still births, having a premature baby or a low birth weight for the baby.  Any drug that is non prescription or not taken normally can cause a miscarriage. Secondhand smoke can also affect the health of the mother and her baby.  It is also known as passive smoking or environmental tobacco smoke.  It is a combination of smoke from a burning cigarette or smoke exhaled by a smoker.  Smoke that comes off of a burning cigarette or cigar usually contains the more harmful substances than the smoke exhaled by a smoker.  It contains tar, carbon monoxide, nicotine and other substances.  Smoking, consuming drugs and secondhand smoke can all cause health issues like lung cancer, heart disease, emphysema, asthma and many other worse conditions for the baby or mother.  Babies that are exposed to secondhand smoke can also develop reduced lung capacity and are at a higher risk for sudden infant death syndrome.

Any woman that is pregnant or thinking about having kids should be aware of the effects that drugs and alcohol have on the mother and the baby.  Being pregnant is something that a woman should cherish because it doesn’t happen all the time.  Taking drugs, smoking and drinking are abusing the pregnancy.  Women that are pregnant should keep track of what they eat and drink because anything that they consume is automatically getting sent to the baby also.  The child is always affected by what the mother takes in, no matter if it’s harmful or not.

Be careful about your decisions and be safe.

%d bloggers like this: