How drinking alcohol and smoking affects your baby in the womb
It’s common sense that drinking and smoking is bad for pregnant mothers. Some people do not even allow smoking and drinking in their houses for the whole 9 months in order to keep the temptation as far away as possible. Doctors even recommend that pregnant women stay as far away from even second hand smoke that they can.
Yet smoking and especially drinking are a big part of our culture and especially of our social lives today. For many of us it is very difficult to get rid of the habit and it’s understandable why many women who get pregnant might find it a struggle too. Often you find pregnant women wondering aloud whether a glass of wine will have such a huge effect, or a small drag on the cancer stick would be that harmful. In short- yes it will have that bad an effect. Let’s take a detailed look at both the matters at hand.
How Smoking Affects Your Baby
Smoking is bad- whether you are pregnant or not. However, even if you can’t kick the habit off for good, it’s best that you keep the pack of cigarettes away for the 9 months that you have an offspring growing within you. Lets not forget that smoking during pregnancy affects not just your health but also the health of the baby and these negative effects will persist even after the baby is born. The more you smoke during the pregnancy, the higher risks of a disease being carried to your baby through your bloodstream.
When you smoke during your pregnancy it lowers the supply of oxygen available to you and the baby. It also speeds up the baby’s heart rate and increases the chances of a premature birth and risks of birth defects.
Even being exposed to second hand smoke during pregnancy can increase your chances of having a miscarriage, a stillbirth or major fluctuations in the baby’s weight. Babies who were exposed to second hand smoke while in the womb, also run the risk of suffering from asthma, lung infections and other allergies. Worst of all, exposure to cigarette smoke in any form can put the baby at the risk of triggering sudden infant death syndrome.
To deal with it, it’s best to ask for the support of your friends and family, especially those who are regular smokers. It’s a great idea to get rid of all the ashtrays, lighters and of course cigarette packets in the house. Many people declare their houses a smoke free zone for the duration of the pregnancy, and that’s ideally how it should be done. On the other hand being active and indulging in exercises can help take your mind off the need to smoke and help make it easier. On a different note, treating the addiction with nicotine patches and nicotine gum isn’t recommended at all. If you are struggling to beat the addiction after finding out you’re pregnant, new technology products that incorporate smokeless vapor systems could be an answer for you to taper down before you quit. Try a vape smokeless pen to wean you off cigarettes, there are plenty available online, click this link to browse some starter kits.
How Alcohol Affects Your Baby
Doctors always tell pregnant women to eat healthy and eat a bit extra as they are eating not just to keep their own bodies healthy but also those of the unborn baby’s. Eating for two is the common phrase that is often used in such circumstances. Similarly, you are also drinking for two and when you consume alcohol, that’s not a good thing at all.
Many women are under the false belief that an innocent glass of wine won’t do any damage. After all it’s not like they are indulging in binge drinking. Wrong! When you drink any alcoholic drink, the alcohol is passing through your placenta onto the growing fetus and it has been proven that a developing baby’s body process alcohol at a much slower rate than an adult’s body. This is pretty much the reason why we never allow kids to have booze. If you won’t let a 5 year old or even a 12 year old consume booze, how does it make sense to let a growing fetus come in contact with it? Common sense right?
When alcohol is transported through a pregnant woman’s body, it raises the blood alcohol level of the fetus and it stays that way for a long period of time. This can cause severe long lasting damage from a heart disease to mental damage. This means that you must not have a single sip, no matter how much the temptation. No toasts, no wine tasting. It’s very crucial to stay off booze for the duration of the pregnancy. One sip might not be much for you but that’s a lot to handle for the baby that is growing inside of you.
With both smoking and drinking you must ask for the support of the spouse and of people who are the closest to you. If you find it a struggle to give up either of these things it’s best to contact your doctor for help.
Do you have any advice for our readers regarding smoking and drinking during pregnancy? Any items you find that have helped you with these habits? Let us know in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you!
Like this article? Check out our article on Pregnancy Myths