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Effects of Drinking and Smoking During Pregnancy

Young pregnant black woman breaking a cigarette , isolated on white background - African people


Tobacco smoking and pregnancy is related to many effects on health and reproduction, in addition to the general health effects of tobacco. A number of studies have shown that tobacco is a significant factor in miscarriages among pregnant smokers, and it contributes to a number of other threats to the health of the fetus. Drinking alcohol when you’re pregnant can be very harmful to your baby. It can cause your baby to have a range of lifelong health conditions.

Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause miscarriage, preterm birth and stillbirth. When you drink alcohol during pregnancy, so does your baby. The same amount of alcohol that is in your blood is also in your baby’s blood. The alcohol in your blood quickly passes through the placenta and to your baby through the umbilical cord.

Although your body is able to manage alcohol in your blood, your baby’s little body isn’t. Your liver works hard to break down the alcohol in your blood. But your baby’s liver is too small to do the same and alcohol can hurt your baby’s development. That’s why alcohol is much more harmful to your baby than to you during pregnancy

Have birth defects (heart, brain and other organs)

Birth defects are health conditions that are present at birth. They change the shape or function of one or more parts of the body. Birth defects can cause problems in overall health, how the body develops or how the body works

Vision or hearing problems

Hearing impairment is the decreased ability to hear and discriminate among sounds. It is one of the most common birth defects. Hearing impairment that is present at birth is called congenital hearing impairment. Hearing impairment also can develop later in childhood or during adulthood

Be born at low birth weight

Low birth weight is when a baby is born weighing less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces. Some low birth weight babies are healthy, even though they’re small. But being low birth weight can cause serious health problems for some babies.

Be born too soon (preterm)

A premature baby is one who is born too early, before 37 weeks. Premature babies may have more health problems and may need to stay in the hospital longer than babies born later. They also may have long-term health problems that can affect their whole lives. But thanks to advances in medical care, even babies born very prematurely are more likely to survive today than ever before

Sudden infant death syndrome

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden death of an infant that is unexplainable by the infant’s history. The death also remains unexplainable upon autopsy. Infants exposed to smoke, both during pregnancy and after birth, are found to be more at risk of SIDS due to the increased levels of nicotine often found in SIDS cases. Infants exposed to smoke during pregnancy are up to three times more likely to die of SIDS those children born to non-smoking mothers.


Clubfoot is a birth defect that causes a child’s foot to point inward instead of forward. The  condition is normally identified after birth, but doctors can also tell if a fetus has clubfoot during an ultrasound. Although the condition normally affects only one foot, it can also affect both feet, but in rear cases. Clubfoot can be corrected through stretching and bracing, other problems includes, Have intellectual disabilities, learning and behavior problems, sleeping and sucking problems, speech, language delays, and behavioral problems.

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