Smoking and alcoholic drinks are widely used in our societies and also, pregnant women are exposed oftentimes, however in pregnancy smoking and alcohol-induced adverse effects, not only in the mother but also in the unborn child.
Therefore, it’s safest to completely avoid smoking and alcohol, both before and during pregnancy.
Medications, sometimes are required Also in pregnancy.
But if drugs are used. It’s important to choose consciously and to choose a medication that has no untoward effects on the fetus.
POTENTIAL ADVERSE CONSEQUENCES OF ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION DURING PREGNANCY
1. FETAL ALCOHOL SYNDROME (FAS)
2. FETAL ALCOHOL SPECTRUM DISORDERS (FASD)
3. EPICANTHAL FOLDS
4. FLAT NASAL BRIDGE
5. “RAILROAD TRACK” EARS
6. SMALL PALPEBRAL FISSURES
7. UPTURNED NOSE
8. SMOOTH PHILTRUM
9. THIN UPPER LIP
11. DAMAGE OF TISSUES AND NERVE CELLS
12. DECREASE IN INTELLIGENCE
13. BEHAVIORAL ABNORMALITIES
Even certain foods can induce adverse health effects for the mother and more importantly for the fetus.
Heavy consumption of alcohol during pregnancy is associated with fetal alcohol syndrome and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.
Fetal alcohol syndrome was first described only in 1973.
It is characterized by restricted fetal and postnatal growth.
Certain congenital anomalies facial dysmorphia and or developmental delay.
Count evidence does not allow to define of a safe and risk-free amount of alcohol consumption or a safe time window, during which the effects would be negligible.
Therefore, most guidelines recommend that pregnant women should completely abstain from alcohol consumption.
POTENTIAL ADVERSE CONSEQUENCES OF CIGARETTE SMOKING DURING PREGNANCY
1. PREMATURE BIRTH
3. BIRTH DEFECTS
4. EARLY PLACENTAL ABRUPTION
5. LOW BIRTH WEIGHT
6. ALLERGY AND OBESITY LATER IN LIFE
7. INCREASED RISK FOR SUDDEN INFANT DEATH SYNDROME
However, this advice can reduce uncertainty and feelings of guilt among those women who consumed alcohol very early in pregnancy, before they even realized that they had become pregnant.
The 2010 guidelines of the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence or NICE recommend abstinence in the first trimester, but state, if women choose to drink after that, a maximum intake of one to two units a week should not be exceeded.
This is because some large cohort studies failed to show the effects of low to moderate alcohol consumption during pregnancy, on several outcomes, such as neurodevelopmental delay children’s IQ, pre-term births, low birth weight, intrauterine growth retardation when compared to alcohol absence.
Binge drinking during pregnancy has been associated with no developmental delay and now, neuropsychological impairment in the offspring.
Women often find it very difficult to stay away from cigarette smoke, because they might be exposed to it passively.
Or because it is an addiction, which is harder to quit than occasional alcohol consumption.
The prevalence of tobacco smoke exposure and tobacco dependence among women of childbearing age has increased in the second half of the 20th century. The adverse consequences have become well recognized.
Smoking can increase the risk for pre-term births and miscarriage birth defects, early placental eruption, low birth weight.
And it also increases the risk of allergy and obesity.
Moreover, maternal smoking in pregnancy increases a child’s risk for sudden infant death syndrome or crib death.
Also, the accounts of some congenital malformations are increased such as orofacial clefts, limb reduction defects, club foot, eye defects, gastroschisis seizures, and abdominal hernias.
Smoking cessation should ideally happen before gestation but in women who continue to smoke cessation during pregnancy is also strongly recommended.
Using nicotine replacement therapy during pregnancy is a controversial topic.
So if a woman considers her only chance to stop smoking is to use nicotine replacement therapy.
It might be worthwhile to try if it eventually helps this moment to stop smoking.
However, nicotine replacement therapy should only be used after consultation with the physician, obstetrician, or pharmacist.
Pregnant women should not smoke and should avoid passive smoking.
Gynaecologists midwives and other health care professionals should explicitly address pregnant women their partners about smoking.
And motivate them to quit and advise them that pregnancy is a very good opportunity to stop smoking.
Unlike alcohol and tobacco, the use of medications cannot always be avoided.
Pregnant women often are unsure about continuing a medication established before pregnancy or taking any new drug.
The risk and benefits of any medication for both mother and the unborn child must be carefully explored before deciding on the use of a certain medication.
Alcohol, cigarette smoke, and the use of certain medications might be the most obvious lifestyle choices to avoid when being pregnant.
However, some food products should be restricted due to the potential of causing adverse health outcomes.
Caffeine is an alkaloid found in various plant constituents, best known as coffee and cocoa beans, tea leaves, guarana berries, and the kola nut.
And it is an ingredient that is added to a variety of foods, particularly cola-type beverages and so-called energy drinks.
The European Food Safety Authority has assessed recently, the safety of caffeine for the general population.
It has been concluded that an acute intake of three milligrams of caffeine per kilogram body mass.
And also a daily intake of about 5.7-milligram caffeine per kilogram of body mass is of no concern in non-pregnant women.
For pregnant women, however, in whom the half time of caffeine disappearance from the blood increases three to four times during pregnancy.
EFSA concluded that a habitual intake of 200 milligrams of caffeine per day, does not give rise to safety concerns about potential adverse effects on the offspring.
These adverse effects might be fetal growth retardation or small for gestational age.
The same daily dose appears to be safe for breastfed infants. When the mother consumes the amount of coffee. Depending on the strength of the coffee and the size of the cups. This corresponds to about three cups per day.
So in conclusion, the consumption of certain foods should be restricted during pregnancy. To avoid untoward effects on the unborn child.