Learning you’re about to become a mother is probably the most exiting experience there is, but it can also be scary as well, once you think about all the factors and hazards there are in infant development. The ones I feel are most important however, are alcohol consumption and drug use during pregnancy, as well as prenatal care.
Consumption of alcohol during pregnancy is linked to an increased risk of miscarriage, premature birth, complications during labor and delivery, and low birth weight. It also can result in fetal alcohol syndrome, which can cause heart defects, abnormal development of the arms and legs, skull and facial abnormalities, and lower-than-average intelligence. There is no known safe amount of alcohol intake during pregnancy, so avoiding it all together is the safest thing for your unborn child.
Drug use during pregnancy can have detrimental effects on your unborn child. It can cause stillbirth, miscarriage, placental abruption, it increases the chance of premature birth, low birth weight, breathing difficulties, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), bleeding within the brain, and infant death. Babies can also be born addicted and can suffer from withdrawal symptoms. If you are addicted to any kind of drug when you find out you are pregnant, please seek help immediately.
Prenatal care is also very important, especially if you have health concerns or a history with troubled pregnancy. At the appointments, they will make sure baby is growing properly, you are gaining the right amount of weight, and they will do tests on you and the baby to make sure everything is going good. They will do ultra sounds, listen to his/her heartbeat, and test blood sugar.
They will give you prenatal vitamins, and will know what is best for you and baby, for example, if you need to be on bed rest or if you can work. You should always remember, while pregnant, you are not only eating for 2, you are breathing and drinking for 2 as well. You are growing another human being inside your body, and whatever you put into your body goes into the babys body as well. It’s not just your life anymore, from the time of conception, you are now responsible for another life, a life that you created. I’m not sure there is anything more precious.