Smoking, Alcohol, And Pregnancy
Smoking, Alcohol, And Pregnancy: Putting It All TogetherTuesday, April 24, 2012 - 15:08
Here is a summary of the important facts and information related to smoking, alcohol, and pregnancy:
- Smoking is a factor in several of the leading causes of death in the US, as well as a major contributor to lost work days and high healthcare costs.
- Smoking during pregnancy is dangerous to the health of the unborn child. The effects include
low birthweight, impaired respiratory function, and higher risk of sudden infant death syndrome.
- Children whose mother smoked during pregnancy suffer more colds, inner ear infections, and bronchial infections, are sometimes physically smaller, and have a higher risk of developing asthma than children of non-smokers.
- Alcohol is a factor in several debilitating (often fatal) diseases, including liver disease, heart disease, and cancer.
- Drinking alcohol during pregnancy is associated with a wide range of mental and physical birth defects.
- The effects of alcohol on the developing baby are often permanent, leading to lifelong mental retardation and learning disabilities.
- Alcohol can also be passed to the baby through breast milk, so you should never breastfeed immediately after drinking.
- Smoking and drinking are associated with higher rates of miscarriage, premature birth, and complications during delivery.
- There is no "safe" level of drinking or smoking during pregnancy-sometimes, defects are seen in babies with very little exposure.
- If you are trying to become pregnant, you should stop drinking and smoking now. If you become pregnant, you should stop right away to minimize any effects on the baby.
- Although it is best to stop smoking and/drinking before becoming pregnant, stopping during the pregnancy can still help to protect the health of the baby.