The effect of smoking, alcohol and drugs during pregnancy
ZP® - English, 27 February 2019 11:35Laatste update op: 2 August 2019 16:02
Smoking, alcohol and drugs are harmful for your baby's health.
The effect of smoking on the health of your baby
Smoking or being exposed to smoke during pregnancy is harmful. The nicotine, carbon monoxide and the many other poisonous substances you inhale while smoking goes directly to the baby via the bloodstream.
When smoking you have a greater chance of a miscarriage or a child with a congenital defect. If the unborn baby is exposed to smoking, he or she is more likely to have a growth retardation and a greater chance of being born prematurely. There is also a greater chance of serious complications, such as the placenta detaching. After the birth there is a greater chance of infant death and children whose mothers smoked during pregnancy often have behavioral problems.
It is best for your child not to smoke during the entire pregnancy. You should also not underestimate the effect of second-hand smoke. By being near smokers often, you increase the chance of your baby being born prematurely. The development of allergies, asthma, lung and ear infections are associated with this.
An unborn child is in full development for nine months. Harmful substances in tobacco smoke disturb this development. You can ask your obstetrician to help you quit smoking.
The effect of alcohol on an unborn baby
You also have a greater chance of a miscarriage if you drink alcohol. The risks of alcohol are dependent on the period when you drink and how much you drink. You can only exclude the risks of alcohol if you don’t drink any alcohol at all during the pregnancy.
The problem is that it is hard to indicate what ‘too much’ alcohol is. This is why it is recommended for pregnant women to not drink any alcohol at all. Even the odd glass now and then is very ill-advised. Don’t forget that it takes your child twice as long to break down the alcohol as it does you. If you do continue to drink alcohol, the baby has a chance of getting Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, which causes mental and physical defects in the child.
If you can’t manage to stop drinking alcohol, ask for help from your obstetrician or doctor.
The effect of drugs on an unborn baby
Drug use can seriously harm the development of a child before and after the birth. In some cases the baby is born with physical defects.
If you can’t stop using drugs, ask for the help of your obstetrician or doctor.