Alcohol And Smoking Can Harm Your Baby
When you’re planning for adding a new member to your family, you’d probably wish for ‘the best’ in everything. You cannot compromise on anything and are ready to go the extra miles, just to ensure that your baby gets everything he or she needs in the best form. But have you thought about how good you are going to do for his/her health? Have you thought how hazardous your drinking and smoking habit would turn out to be for your child? You’ve only heard people say that alcohol and smoking should be avoided during pregnancy. But why aren’t you still giving it a call for quitting? Probably ‘cos you do not know how unsafe, it is or, to the worse, you don’t care for your baby. Which mother on earth would do that?
When you are carrying a baby or planning for one, whatever you eat will affect the baby. The food you eat reaches your baby, the fetus, through the placenta which is attached to the baby’s umbilical cord. The placenta can’t tell the difference between what is good for your baby and what is harmful to your baby. That’s why you must make good choices.
Alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, and some medicines — can be harmful. When you drink alcohol, it is going to reach your baby directly. The aftermath effects are going to be much more dangerous for your baby’s health.
Let’s understand how your health and habits can affect your unborn child.
Alcohol and Pregnancy
When and What you eat or drink during pregnancy, so does your baby. Food and drink quickly enter your baby’s bloodstream through the placenta. A baby’s liver is one of the last organs to develop and doesn’t mature until the latter stages of pregnancy. Your baby cannot process alcohol as well as you can, and too much exposure to alcohol can seriously affect their development.
In addition to the risk of miscarriage, more recent research found that drinking, particularly in the first three months of pregnancy, also increases the risk of premature birth and low birth weight.
Risks Of Drinking Alcohol During Pregnancy
- It causes Fetal alcohol syndrome disorders (also called FASDs). Children with FASDs may have a range of problems, including intellectual and developmental disabilities. These are problems with how the brain works that can cause a person to have trouble in learning, communicating, taking care of himself or getting along with others.
- Premature birth
- There could be signs of damaged organs (Defects of the face, fingers, arms and legs) or mental retardation,
- Birth defects, like heart defects, hearing problems or vision problems. Birth defects are health conditions that are present at birth. Birth defects change the shape or function of one or more parts of the body.
- Low Birthweight
Some Tips To Help You Stop Drinking Alcohol
- Think about when you usually drink alcohol. Plan to drink other things, like fruity drinks or water.
- Stay away from situations or places where you usually drink, like parties or bars.
- Get rid of all the alcohol in your home.
- Tell your partner and your friends and family that you’re not drinking alcohol during pregnancy. Ask them to help and support you.
Smoking and Pregnancy
If you smoke, or if you are exposed to secondhand smoke, you are more likely to have a very small baby and could have serious health issues. When you smoke, you inhale less oxygen and more Tar, Nicotine and Carbon Mono oxide and same you are passing to your baby. Your baby may have problems during labour and delivery. Your baby may also have health problems such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or sudden infant death syndrome.
If you are a smoker, try to stop now. If you stop smoking early in your pregnancy, your risks are about the same as someone who does not smoke. Ask for support from your family, friends, or healthcare provider to help stop smoking during your pregnancy.
How Does Smoking During Pregnancy Harm Your and Your Baby Healthy?
Most people know that smoking causes cancer, heart disease, and other major health problems. Smoking during pregnancy causes additional health problems, including premature birth (being born too early), certain birth defects, and infant death.
- Lower the amount of oxygen available to you and your growing baby.
- Women who smoke during pregnancy are more likely than other women to have a miscarriage.
- Smoking can cause problems with the placenta—the source of the baby’s food and oxygen during pregnancy. For example, the placenta can separate from the womb too early, causing bleeding, which is dangerous to the mother and baby.
- Smoking during pregnancy can cause a baby to be born too early or to have low birth weight—making it more likely the baby will be sick and have to stay in the hospital longer. A few babies may even die.
- Smoking during and after pregnancy is a risk factor of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). SIDS is an infant death for which a cause of the death cannot be found.
- Babies born to women who smoke are more likely to have certain birth defects, like a cleft lip or cleft palate.
- Smoking during pregnancy can have lifelong effects on your baby’s brain. Children of pregnant smokers are especially likely to have learning disorders, behavioural problems, and relatively lower IQs.
Best Quitting Smoking Tips
- Find Reasons to get motivated, you need a powerful, personal reason to quit.
- Consider Nicotine-Replacement Therapy, When you stop smoking, nicotine withdrawal may give you headaches, affect your mood, or sap your energy. The craving for “just one drag” is tough. Nicotine-replacement therapy can curb these urges.
- Get Moving, Being active can curb nicotine cravings and ease some withdrawal symptoms. When you want to reach for a cigarette, put on your inline skates or jogging shoes instead.
- Eat Fruits and Veggies, Don’t try to diet while you give up cigarettes. Too much deprivation can easily backfire.
- Choose Your Reward, In addition to all the health benefits, one of the perks of giving up cigarettes is all the money you will save.
- Remember That Time Is on Your Side, As soon as you quit, you start to get immediate health benefits. After only 20 minutes, your heart rate goes back to normal. Within a day, your blood’s carbon monoxide level also falls back into place. In just 2-3 weeks, you will start to lower your odds of having a heart attack. In the long run, you will also lower your chance of getting lung cancer and other cancers.
Benefits of Quitting it:
- Baby will get more oxygen, even after just one day of not smoking.
- You will be less likely to develop heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, chronic lung disease, and other smoke-related diseases.
- You will be more likely to live to know your grandchildren.
- You will have more energy and breathe more easily.
- Your clothes, hair, and home will smell better.
- Your taste glands will work in a better way.
- You will have more money than you can spend on other things.
- You will feel good about what you have done for yourself and your baby.
- Less risk of Early Birth
If you’re a smoker or love drinks, go back and ponder on how you want your baby to be. A healthy, happy child or an unhealthy one? The choice is all yours!