CAN SMOKING OR DRINKING DURING PREGNANCY AFFECT THE UNBORN BABY?
The answer to this question is that, it is possible. We know that all the above mentioned substances can cross the placenta and reach the fetus. So, drugs consumed by the mother can definitely affect the unborn baby’s health and can even cause long-term damage. This is why the doctors recommend that pregnant mothers should not smoke or drink alcohol or use other illicit drugs.
Anything that a pregnant mother eats has its effects on the baby. Exposure to different drugs can harm the baby in several ways. Like-
Smoking during pregnancy can cause fetal growth retardation, low birth weight babies. It can also lead to behavioral problems in children.
Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). Children with FAS may be small for gestational age (SGA). Later in life they may have problems eating, sleeping, seeing and hearing. They can also be affected by learning disabilities. They have problem getting along with others. Therefore no amount of alcohol is safe during pregnancy.
Drug abuse with cocaine and marijuana during pregnancy can harm the children later in life. These children tend to have attention, language and learning problems. They also present with behavioral issues.
Mothers who use alcohol, tobacco or any other illicit drug during pregnancy are risking their children for potential lifelong problems or even death.
The best thing a pregnant mom can do for her child is that she can talk to her doctor about which foods to eat and vitamins to take to make sure that she bears a healthy child.