After discussing the effects of tobacco on pregnancy
, let us move to other equally harmful social drugs that every pregnant woman should avoid.Alcohol
While Fetal Alcohol Syndrome has been established as one of the most serious consequences of drinking during pregnancy
, the amount of alcohol that may cause it has not been clearly determined, and it is thus important for pregnant women to refrain from heavy or regular drinking of alcohol. Refraining from drinking
alcohol altogether is an even better idea.
Miscarriages, sudden infant death syndrome, and reduced birth weights become more common when the woman drinks alcohol in any form during pregnancy. Fetal alcohol syndrome
affects 2 of 1,000 live births. It may result in facial defects, inadequate growth before or after birth, mental retardation, abnormal behavioral development (such as antisocial behavior and attention deficit disorder), and heart defects.Caffeine
While there is no sufficient evidence that confirms the harmful effects of caffeine to pregnancy, several studies suggest that drinking several cups of coffee a day, i.e., 7 cups per day, may increase the risk of stillbirth, premature birth, reduced birth weight, or miscarriage.
Caffeine can be found in coffee, tea, soda, chocolate, and some drugs. It may affect the heart rate of the fetus inside a mother’s womb, may decrease blood flow across the placenta and may decrease the absorption of iron. It is, therefore, advisable to limit caffeine consumption to a minimum.