Some women have included a puff on a cigarette or a glass of alcoholic drinks in their social life. However, these changes when one becomes pregnant. Anything that is taken into the body can reach the baby and cause possible harm. It is very important to change these lifestyle and remove bad habits such as smoking and drinking while pregnant.

When is the best time to stop? Of course, this should happen immediately after you and your partner decided to give it a shot! Keep in mind that the brain and the other organs of the baby are starting to form and develop even during the early days of pregnancy. So better reduce the baby’s risk to problems and abnormalities by kicking out these harmful habits out of your life as soon as possible.

How Does Smoking While Pregnant Affect You and Your Baby?

Smoking while pregnant is bad for you and also for your baby. A stick of cigarette contains various chemicals such as nicotine, carbon monoxide, arsenic, and tar products which are very harmful to the body. Moreover, these chemical components can easily reach the baby by passing through the placenta.

Women who smoke during their pregnancy are more likely to have a higher risk of the following:

  • Preterm labor. Preterm labor is characterized by early labor, which normally occurs before the 37th week of pregnancy. This condition often leads to the premature birth of babies.

  • Ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the fertilized egg is implanted and started to grow outside the uterus of the mother. This condition will not result in the birth of the baby. Also, it can lead to a critical and dangerous problem to the pregnant woman.

  • Vaginal bleeding. Bleeding of the vagina is an abnormal condition that should be given immediate attention. If left untreated, this may lead to the death of the fetus inside the mother’s womb.

  • Placenta problems. The placenta supplies the necessary nutrients needed for the baby to grow. Problems involving placenta may be experienced including placental abruption and placenta previa. Placental abruption occurs when the placenta separates from the uterus wall even before birth. Placenta previa occurs when the placenta lies in a low position causing it to cover the entire cervix.

On the other hand, babies with smoking mothers are more likely to experience the following conditions:

  • Premature birth. Babies born with this condition are more likely to have health problems.

  • Birth defects. Birth defects refer to the conditions present in the baby at birth. These may include changes in the functions or shape of the different body parts or an overall health problem that involves the proper development of the baby. Some of the common birth defects include cleft palate or cleft lip.

  • Underweight. The low birth weight in newborn babies is characterized by a weight less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces.

  • Death before birth. Death if the baby just before birth is also known as miscarriage or stillbirth. Miscarriage occurs when the baby dies in the mother’s womb before 20 weeks while stillbirth occurs when the baby dies after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. This condition is also known as SIDS. This refers to an unexplained death of the baby that occurs before the baby turned 1 year old.

Quitting smoking may be a bit difficult and challenging. Try the following helpful tips to get rid of smoking while pregnant.

  • List down all your reasons for quitting.

  • Ask help from family and friends. Make sure that you can count on them whenever you feel like getting stick.

  • Try to keep yourself busy and occupied with new things and activities.

  • Drink more glasses of water.

  • Ask medical help to help you quit smoking. The professionals will recommend alternatives such as gums, sprays, and medicines.

  • Join community programs and activities that will encourage you to stop smoking.

How Does Drinking While Pregnant Affect You and Your Baby?

Drinking while pregnant is not recommended, too. Whatever you eat or drink will also be eaten by the baby inside the womb. This can quickly enter the bloodstream of the baby by passing through the placenta. Some pregnant women wonder if drinking one or two can harm the baby. However, there are still no medical claims that suggest the safe amount of alcohol that can be consumed during pregnancy.

With studies, women who drink during their pregnancy are more likely to have a higher risk of the preterm labor. Preterm labor is also known as early labor which often leads to the birth of premature babies.

On the other hand, babies with drinking mothers are more likely to experience the following conditions:

  • Brain damage. Brain damage occurs together with other problems involving the growth and development of the different organs of the baby.

  • Birth defects. Birth defects are often characterized by changes in shape and functions of the different parts of the body. Some of the common birth defects include vision problems, hearing defects, and heart problems.

  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. This condition is also called FASDs. Babies affected by this condition may experience both intellectual and developmental problems, which can greatly affect their learning and communication skills.

  • Underweight. Just like the effect of smoking.

  • Death before birth. Still similar to the effect of smoking.

Stopping drinking may be a bit difficult and challenging. Try these helpful tips to get rid of drinking while pregnant:

  • Think of the reasons why you drink and why you should not drink.

  • Stay away from places where you use to hang out and drink.

  • Empty your home bar and get rid of all your alcohol bottles.

  • Tell your family and friends your plan about stopping and ask for their support.

  • Ask help from healthcare provider regarding possible treatments and programs.

  • Join and become active in support groups advocating in alcohol drinking.


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