Practices to Avoid During Pregnancy

pregnant-woman-refusing-alcohol

Pregnancy is one of the most important stage in a woman’s life. Certain habitual practices of a woman during pregnancy have a direct effect on the developing baby in the womb. This article lists practices that need to be avoided in order to keep the baby safe and healthy.

Alcohol Consumption

Consumption of alcoholic drinks during pregnancy have adverse effects on the foetal development and must be avoided totally. Taking about one or two alcoholic drinks a day can lead to what is known as Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). It is a recognizable clinical symptom that is caused by heavy drinking during pregnancy.

Babies born to mothers who consumed excessive alcohol during pregnancy suffer;

  1. Retarded growth.
  2. Impaired development of the central nervous system (mental retardation).
  3. Facial malformations.
  4. Low birth weight.
  5. Immunodeficiency.

The alcohol exerts a direct toxic effect on the foetus and may also increase the risk of oxygen or glucose deficit to the foetus. The most severe impact of maternal drinking is in the first month, which is before the woman is even sure she is pregnant. Spontaneous abortions, birth defects and low infant birth weight occur more often in pregnant women who drink even small amount of alcohol.

Smoking

Smoking is another harmful practice during pregnancy. Smoking restricts the blood supply to the growing foetus thereby limiting the supply of nutrients and removal of wastes. Any reduced energy or nutrient supply to the foetus during pregnancy is likely restrict foetal growth and thus increasing the risk of low birth weight.

Smoking during pregnancy causes premature delivery leading to foetal death, spontaneous abortions, retarded foetal development or growth and low infant birth weight. Smoking is said to be the cause of all low birth weight deliveries in the United States.

Avoid Caffeinated Drinks

Caffeine can cause harm to the body. Most of the caffeine we consume are present in coffee, soft drinks and drugs. Consumption of large amounts of caffeine during pregnancy is known to increase the risk of suffering miscarriages probably by decreasing the blood flow through the placenta to the foetus. Additionally, caffeine crosses the placenta and enter the foetus having an effect on the unborn baby’s heart rate and breathing.

Avoid Unhealthy Diets

Nutrition is very important during pregnancy. The outcome of a pregnancy more often depends on the dietary choices of the mother during pregnancy. Eating fatty foods during pregnancy lead to maternal weight gain and probably diabetes. According to studies conducted over the years, maternal weight gain during pregnancy have an effect on the birth weight of the baby.

Babies born to women with diabetes are at greater risk of respiratory distress syndrome, congenital defects, prematurity and excessively high birthweight. Pregnant women should as much as possible avoid fatty foods, foods with strong odors and other foods that can trigger nausea or vomiting which is common among pregnant women.

Overall, pregnant women should avoid drugs and alcoholic drinks in order to secure their health and that of the baby. All drugs must be avoided except on the advice of a qualified medical doctor or a physician.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *