Smoking, Alcohol, And Pregnancy

Smoking, Alcohol, And Pregnancy: Glossary

Here are definitions of medical terms related to smoking, alcohol, and pregnancy:

Binge drinking: Typically defined as having 5 or more drinks within one day.

Carbon monoxide: Poisonous gas found in cigarette smoke; can displace oxygen from hemoglobin and thus reduce the bloods ability to carry oxygen to the cells.

Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS): Collection of defects including specific facial abnormalities, reduced fetal growth, and mental retardation caused by consumption of alcohol during pregnancy; typically, though not exclusively, associated with frequent or heavy drinking during pregnancy.

Hemoglobin: Protein on the red blood cells that carries oxygen to the cells.

Low birthweight: Applies to babies weighing less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces at birth; associated with a higher rate of infant mortality and a higher rate of serious complications/illness during the newborn period.

Nicotine: Poisonous component of cigarette smoke; the substance in tobacco to which smokers become addicted.

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS): A sudden, fatal stoppage of breathing; thought to be caused by a defect in the central nervous system.

Tar: Solid components of cigarette smoke typically associated with lung disease and various cancers.

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