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Monday, 8 September 2014

The Risks of Smoking and Drinking Alcohol During Pregnancy

Despite of the proven medical implications involved with the risk of imperiling both the mother and the fetus, there are still some women that indulge themselves with smoking and drinking even during their trimester of pregnancy. Even though it is a highly publicized fact that these detrimental activities should be avoided during pregnancy and ignoring such health warnings could lead to unwanted consequences.

In general, most doctors advise pregnant women to totally avoid in partaking alcohol and smoking during pregnancy and in the event that they can not avoid it, they should minimize it to having only one to two units (one unit is a full jigger or a shot glass or about 8 grams liquid weight) of alcohol which is most at twice a week. Anything more than that amount or frequency can eventually result to some irreversible consequences to your baby's health and well being.

This is also important for women that are trying to conceive since excessive drinking and alcohol intake can greatly reduce their fertility which greatly decreases their chance to be able to conceive. In the event that they do become successful in becoming pregnant, excessive alcohol intake can weaken the uterus ability to maintain a firm hold on the developing fetus which could lead to a miscarriage, especially during the earliest stages of their pregnancy. The best preventive measure to avoid any of this to possibly happen is to completely withhold from drinking, or if unavoidable, reduce the amount of alcohol intake in every way possible. 

How does alcohol affect the fetus during pregnancy and what are the possible consequences that could arise if a woman continues to neglect such warnings? Induced alcohol levels in the blood stream during pregnancy affects the fetus as the nutrients and the needed rich oxygen that helps develop the baby's brain is depleted by the alcohol in the mother's blood stream.

The alcohol then passes through the placenta and to the fetus, and we know what that can lead to regarding the baby's development in the womb. The high levels of alcohol can greatly reduce the way the baby's brain is growing which can lead to such results as mental retardation and other mental deformities as a result of the mother's excessive alcohol intake.

What is more alarming is the way on how the alcohol continues to linger on internally all throughout the pregnancy period and not just the early stages of the pregnancy itself. Other possible effects that frequent alcohol and smoking can do to the fetus during pregnancy can involve premature birth, a low birth weight and the most common result such as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome that affects the physical and mental development of the baby as a result of the mother's excessive smoking and drinking. 

As early as the first three months of pregnancy, women are prohibited to drink any amount of alcohol since it is proven to cause miscarriage during this precarious period in which the fetus is not yet that fully embedded to the uterine wall. The detrimental effect of alcohol tends to thin down the walls of the uterus and as a consequence, looses its firm hold on the developing fetus resulting in a miscarriage

Even though a woman has already given birth, regular intake of alcohol and habitual smoking should still be avoided for reasons of breast feeding. Even at this point, a mother can still do her baby harm through breastfeeding if she maintains in partaking alcohol on a regular basis. If it could not be avoided, just remember not to drink any substantial amount of alcoholic beverages prior to breast feeding your baby since the alcohol can be ingested through breast milk which will give the same effect as if the baby itself was the one drinking the alcohol, which can affect their growth development at this early point of their life. As a reminder, always think about your baby's welfare before yours and if you truly love them, you will do the right thing not to harm their wellbeing.

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