Lifestyle Factors That Make A Pregnancy High Risk?
- Alcohol use. Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can increase the baby’s risk for fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs), sudden infant death syndrome, and other problems. FASDs are a variety of effects on the fetus that result from the mother’s drinking alcohol during pregnancy. The effects range from mild to severe, and they include intellectual and developmental disabilities; behavior problems; abnormal facial features; and disorders of the heart, kidneys, bones, and hearing. FASDs are completely preventable: If a woman does not drink alcohol while she is pregnant, her child will not have an FASD.
Women who drink also are more likely to have a miscarriage or stillbirth. Currently, research shows that there is no safe amount of alcohol to drink while pregnant. According to one study supported by NIH, infants can suffer long-term developmental problems even with low levels of prenatal alcohol exposure.
- Tobacco use. Smoking during pregnancy puts the fetus at risk for preterm birth, certain birth defects, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). One study showed that smoking doubled or even tripled the risk of stillbirth, or fetal death after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Research has also found that smoking during pregnancy leads to changes in an infant’s immune system.Secondhand smoke also puts a woman and her developing fetus at increased risk for health problems.
- Drug use. Research shows that smoking marijuana and taking drugs during pregnancy can also harm the fetus and affect infant health. One study showed that smoking marijuana and using illegal drugs doubled the risk of stillbirth. Research also shows that smoking marijuana during pregnancy can interfere with normal brain development in the fetus, possibly causing long-term problems.