Essay on Pregnancy and the Dangers of Drug Use

1365 Words Mar 22nd, 2008 6 Pages
Dangers of Drug Use i

Pregnancy and the Dangers of Drug Use

Sarah McVicker
Psychology 201 Lifespan Development
Professor Sally Vyain
October 7, 2007

Pregnancy and the Dangers of Drug Use It is very important for a mother to lead a healthy lifestyle when she becomes pregnant. She must eat healthy, get lots of rest, and exercise regularly. It is even more imperative that she avoids things that may harm her or potentially her baby. Amongst things she must avoid, alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs are the most vital. For a pregnant woman, drug use and abuse is twice as dangerous as for someone who is not pregnant. First, drugs will harm her own health, interfering with her ability to support her pregnancy and make the best
…show more content…
Low birth weight babies require special care and run a much higher risk of severe health problems or even death. Alcohol is one of the most dangerous drugs for a pregnant woman, especially in the early weeks. In a pregnant woman's body, alcohol becomes a cell-damaging compound that is readily absorbed by the fetus. Fetal alcohol syndrome is a cluster of birth defects that can be caused by heavy drinking during early pregnancy. This cluster includes a small skull, abnormal facial features, and heart defects, often accompanied by impeded growth and mental retardation. Heavy drinking in later pregnancy may also slow down growth. It is not known whether light or moderate drinking can produce these effects. However, even if the risk is low, the stakes are very high. Women should avoid alcohol completely when she decides to get pregnant or when she finds out she is pregnant. Beer and wine coolers should be off limits as well, even though they are mild alcoholic beverages. Smoking during pregnancy may raise the risk of miscarriage or premature labor, but the primary danger is stalled fetal growth. Not only will smoking during pregnancy produce short term effects, such as low birth weight in infants, but it will also produce long term effects on children's development as well. Nicotine depresses the appetite, and when pregnant

Related Documents