Pregnancy Precautions

What to avoid when you're expecting.

Alcohol

Alcohol can cause FAS, or fetal alcohol syndrome. Even a small amount of alcohol can harm the developing baby so it is important for an expecting mother to stay away from alcohol while she is pregnant. FAS is an incurable condition found in the babies of the mothers who chose to drink during their pregnancy. Most babies that are born with fetal alcohol syndrome usually don't live to see their first birthday. The ones that survive live the rest of their lives with a range of physical and mental disabilities. These include; delayed physical growth, vital organ defects, hyperactivity, and facial deformity. Mental disibilities include: mental retardation, learning difficulties, and poor coordination. The severity of FAS is determined by how much alcohol is consumed by the mother. This is why doctors advise women to abstain from drinking during pregnancy.

Caffeine

Caffeine is found in many of the things that humans consume on a daily basis. It is found in chocolate, tea, coffee, and most soft drinks. Surprisingly enough, caffeine is considered a drug and can cause harm to the fetus. Caffeine travels easily from the mother to her baby through the placenta and can increase fetal heart rate and movement. Small quantities of caffeine do not harm the baby but large quantities can cause a variety of prenatal problems. This includes: increased risk of miscarriage, premature birth, low birth weight, and higher risk of infant death. Caffeine also can harm the mother by causing mood swings and preventing her from getting the rest she needs.

Tobacco

The use of tobacco is shown to have many negative effects on any human being. This is why it is recommended for people to choose not to smoke. Smoking is especially discouraged while pregnant. Smoking during pregnancy can lead to many different birth defects. Studies have shown that to cause low birth weights. Heavy smoking is also linked to premature birth as well. Also, smoking while pregnant can be linked to breathing problems, heart disease, and allergies in the child after it is born.