Pregnancy is a time when a would-be mother has to take the utmost care to ensure good health for herself and her baby. Drinking alcohol, smoking (both active and passive), and drug abuse is an absolute no during pregnancy period. The recent research concludes that during the first and last trimester, any of the above can cause irreparable damage to the baby, and can also lead to premature delivery. Smoking any time during pregnancy is hazardous, but especially during the first three months of pregnancy.
Apart from active smoking, even passive exposure to smoke is unsafe at the time of pregnancy. The mother-to-be should make sure that she is not even in proximity to people who smoke, as far as possible. Recently, it has been confirmed that the effects of maternal smoking during pregnancy are seen even after the child has grown up. Adolescent children mothers, who smoked during their pregnancies, seem to have behavioral issues at school. Alcohol consumption or taking drugs during pregnancy has several side-effects. There is no level of maternal alcohol intake that is safe for the fetus. Preferably, alcohol should be wholly abstained from, particularly during the first trimester. If this is not possible, then it should definitely be decreased to about 3 to 4 drinks per week.
Many conditions may affect the child’s mental health as well the physical health due to the consumption of alcohol and drugs by the mother when she is pregnant. The most common and hazardous condition is known as Fetal Alcoholic Syndrome (FAS). In this condition, the baby is born severely malformed, can be mentally impaired, or even lead to premature delivery with an unhealthy body, as per the research. There may be defects in the lungs, heart, and limbs. Children of about 9% of alcohol users have developed this condition, as per the study.