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Alcohol, Smoking, Drugs

Alcohol
Alcohol transfers through the placenta and may cause problems during pregnancy. It causes increased risk of miscarriage, growth retardation and congenital abnormalities. When you consume a lot of alcohol during pregnancy, your baby may develop abnormalities in the face, hands and legs, as well as neurological abnormalities. These disorders are called the fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). Moreover, a baby suffers from withdrawal symptoms after birth.

Nobody knows if there is a 'safe' amount of alcohol you can consume, and there are risks associated with drinking. It is clear, however, that if alcohol is consumed daily, even if it is not much, it is very dangerous. Also read the "alcohol and pregnancy" leaflet or visit www.alcoholenzwangerschap.nl. Below you can read a brief summary of the health council's advice.

Advice from the Health Council offered to the Minister of Health. "Should pregnant and nursing women abstain completely, or is a single glass of alcohol not harmful?"

Advices differ quite often. Scientific research, however, shows that the only truly safe option is abstaining from consuming alcohol. Moreover, before conception, it is advised that both partners abstain from consuming alcohol, as it is the only option that prevents harm. After conception, if the man consumes alcohol, this no longer harms the child. However, it is different for pregnant and nursing women. Alcohol in the blood reaches the unborn child through the placenta. Alcohol also reaches the baby through breastfeeding. In either case, adverse effects may occur even in moderate consumption. Therefore, women should abstain from consuming alcohol until they stop nursing.

Smoking
Smoking during pregnancy is very harmful to your unborn baby. Smoking reduces blood supply to the placenta, allowing the child less oxygen and nutrients. Mothers who smoke a lot during pregnancy have a greater chance of a miscarriage, a preterm birth or even stillbirth. Also, babies from smoking mothers have a lower average birth weight. This may be important when your baby is already not growing as well as it should, and due to smoking gets behind even more. Additionally, babies with growth retardation have a greater chance of problems with their breathing and nutrition. Read more about smoking and pregnancy here.

Smoking can not only affect growth, but also the mental development of a child. Even after the birth of the baby, smoking should be avoided. Moreover, smoking increases the risk of crib death.

Based on the above, it is very important that you quit smoking. However, this does not only apply to the mother, but to the partner, too! So quit smoking together. Watch a video about quitting smoking.

Drugs
Hard drugs like heroin, cocaine, LSD, speed and other drugs are very dangerous for your unborn baby. Babies of moms who use hard drugs during pregnancy, are usually born addicted. These babies often suffer from withdrawal symptoms after birth. Some hard drugs also cause chromosomal aberrations, heart abnormalities, abnormalities in the blood and miscarriages.

Soft drugs like marijuana and hash are dangerous to the unborn child, too, and adversely affect brain development. If you have used drugs or use drugs during pregnancy, please report it to us so we can adapt our obstetric care.

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