Depression during pregnancy may result in drinking and smoking during pregnancy. A glass of wine or a puff on a cigarette is a part of many women’s social lives. But if you’re pregnant, whatever you take into your body reaches your baby too. Alcohol and smoking can all have a negative effect on developing babies. It can also cause mental and physical birth defects, increases the risk of low birth weight, and preterm labor. To begin with, depression is a mood disorder that affects 1 in 4 women at some point during their lifetime. It is not diagnosed properly during pregnancy because people think it is just another type of hormonal imbalance. This assumption can be dangerous for the mother and the unborn baby. Depression that is not treated can have possible dangerous risks to the mother and baby. Untreated depression can lead to poor nutrition, drinking, smoking, and suicidal behavior, which can then cause premature birth, low birth weight, and developmental problems. A woman who is depressed often does not have the strength or desire to tolerably care for herself or her developing baby.
Babies born to mothers who are depressed may also be less active, show less attention and are more irritable and agitated than babies born to moms who are not depressed. This is why getting the right help is so important for both mom and baby. However, babies that were born to women, who engaged in drinking during pregnancy, result in Fatal Alcohol Syndrome. Signs of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) are often difficult to recognize in newborns, but red flags may include physical features, such as reduced birth weight and length, short eye openings, and a smaller head size. Pregnant women with higher alcohol consumption at any point during pregnancy were more likely to have a baby with a low birth weight than other pregnant women. Although many women are aware that heavy drinking during pregnancy can cause birth defects, many do not realize that moderate or even light drinking also may harm the fetus. There are three major effects of drinking while pregnant. First, alcohol will cause pre- and postnatal growth retardation for the baby. Second, alcohol can cause central nervous system dysfunction and neurodevelopmental defects for the child. The third consequence of drinking while pregnant causes facial deformities.
“Drinking During Pregnancy” StudyMode.com. 12 2010. 12 2010 Like drinking too much alcohol, smoking is also very harmful to your baby during pregnancy. Your baby is exposed to chemicals, such as nicotine and carbon monoxide. These chemicals can lessen the amount of oxygen that your baby receives. Babies born to women who smoked during their pregnancy are more likely to be born with birth defects, prematurely, or at a low birth weight. Birth defects are health conditions that present at birth. It can change the shape or function of one or more parts of the baby’s body. There are thousands of different birth defects.
About 120,000 babies in the United States are born each year with a birth defect. There are more than 4,000 different known birth defects, and they’re the leading cause of death in the first year of life. A premature baby is one who is born too early, before 37 weeks of pregnancy. They can have more health problems and may need to stay in the hospital longer than other babies born at full term. More than half a million babies are born premature each year in the United States. Health problems that may affect premature babies are apnea, respiratory distress syndrome, intraventricular hemorrhage, anemia, and many more health problems. They may also face autism and cerebral palsy throughout their life. Low birth weight is when a baby is born weighing less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces.
About 1 in every 12 babies in the United States is born with a low birth weight. Low birth weight in babies may cause problems, such as bleeding in the brain, patent ductus arterious, or retinopathy of prematurity. In other words, if you feel like you’re depressed the most important thing is to seek help. Talk with your health care provider about your symptoms and struggles. Your health care provider wants the best for you and your baby and may discuss options with you for treatment. You may also want to talk with health care provider or a family member about your smoking and/or drinking problem during pregnancy. Why risk your health and also your baby’s health?
Courtney from Study Moose
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