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Clipping is a handy way to collect and organize the most important slides from a presentation. Whether planned or unplanned, you should try to lead as healthy a lifestyle as you can during and after your pregnancy.
It is important to talk to your GP or maternity hospital staff if you feel you need support to quit smoking and drinking during pregnancy, especially if other drugs such as cannabis, cocaine, heroin or methadone are involved. The effects of drugs on your baby depend on the baby’s stage of development and how much of the drug you use. If you use stimulant drugs such as cocaine and amphetamine (speed) your baby may be born smaller and in distress. Opiates like heroin, methadone and morphine cross the placenta to the baby with great ease.
Undoubtedly, it is the most special time in the life of a woman and therefore, there are few things the pregnant women should avoid for their baby’s health. While the effects of different drugs may vary, your baby is extremely vulnerable to toxins found in all drugs. We know alcohol is harmful to your growing baby as it causes damage to their central nervous system.
If you smoke cigarettes while you are pregnant, all the toxic chemicals that pass into you are also passed on to your baby.
It’s hard to know what effects are caused by cannabis alone as it is usually mixed with tobacco or used with alcohol. Use of cocaine can lead to very serious complications with your pregnancy and may cause your baby to have a stroke. The biggest risk is to your baby’s central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and their growth. The most common risk is that your baby will be born smaller and weaker than normal, so they are more likely to be ill. Cannabis crosses the placenta the same as all other drugs, so it is a risk to your baby’s health. Before a medical drug is sold, research takes place to determine if is safe to take during pregnancy.
It may increase stress in newborns and make children more impulsive so some effects may only emerge later in life. Cocaine has also been linked to heart defects in the baby and may lead to learning difficulties as they grow up. When buying over-the-counter medicines your pharmacist should be able to advise you about this. Regular drinking can affect the size of your baby, so they are born much smaller than normal. If you contract HIV there is a high risk you will pass the virus on to your baby – ask your doctor for advice on how to prevent this.
The impact of taking drugs during pregnancy can result in poor eating habits, lack of exercise and other health related problems – these may also affect your baby’s development. If you are on medication before you become pregnant you should speak to your doctor about whether you should continue taking it. As they grow up, children who were exposed to alcohol in pregnancy often show poor attention and hyperactivity. Nicotine causes blood vessels to tighten and can decrease the amount of blood, oxygen and nutrients that reach your baby.
If you are a regular heavy drinker, your baby is at risk of developing a serious condition called fetal alcohol syndrome.
This affects your baby’s growth and they may be born with a small head – a sign of poor brain growth, facial defects, and mental and behavioural problems. It’s best to stop smoking completely when you are pregnant, for the sake of your own health and your baby’s.
It is never too late to stop smoking during pregnancy – stopping at any stage reduces the risks for your baby.
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Published at: pregnancy guide