Pregnancy: What You Need to Avoid

    Alcohol and Pregnancy


    Pregnancy Basic Truth

    One basic truth in pregnancy is that not every food can be eaten, not all medications can be taken and some lifestyles must be quitted because they pose serious threat to the mother and also importantly the foetus (baby).

    And some pregnant women get confused after testing positive, not to worry this piece will give you an excellent details on what you mustn’t take during pregnancy.

    Ultimately your Doctor, Pharmacist or Dietician is the best hands to consult when pregnant especially in special cases which you have no choice but to take these things.


    Smoking during pregnancy is very harmful. Any puff you take exposes your baby to toxic chemicals. These chemicals are tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide.

    Nicotine causes blood vessels to constrict, so less oxygen and nutrients reach the foetus. Carbon monoxide travels to the baby’s blood and lower the amount of oxygen to the baby and mother receive.

    Other problems that can surface when a pregnant woman smokes are;

    • Still birth
    • Miscarriage
    • Vaginal bleeding
    • Ectopic pregnancy
    • Baby with deformed limbs or mental defects
    • A low- birth- weight baby
    • Preterm baby

    It very important to also note it’s also the same when you have a partner that smokes. It is advisable to encourage the partner or neighbours to quit or stay very far from you at the period to avoid these complications mentioned above.


    For most women, alcohol is not just taken for pleasure; it’s also taken to quench the effect of a physical or emotional abuse. Traditional functions also predispose women to alcohol like cocktail, dinners, festive occasion or living with a man that likes alcohol.

    Some women either use or abuse alcohol, having several drinks each day or binge drinking (having drinks in one sitting) is abuse it. There is a fine line between using alcohol or abuse it and it’s often hard to tell because it’s not clear how much alcohol is too much in pregnancy. The best is not to drink at all.

    The same amount of alcohol in her blood is in her baby’s blood. Alcohol is much more harmful to the foetus than it is to an adult.

    The more the pregnant woman drinks, the greater the danger to the baby, alcohol can cause miscarriage or a preterm baby. One other worse effect is Foetal alcohol syndrome (FAS).

    FAS are a pattern of major physical, mental and behavioural problem in babies exposed to alcohol during pregnancy. Babies with FAS may have the followings;

    • Small bodies
    • Heart defects
    • Problems with joints and limbs
    • Abnormal facial features
    • Behavioural problems including hyperactivity, anxiety and poor attention span.

    In fact some babies are born with all the followings problems. It best to stop drinking or avoid alcohol and find other means of relaxing and enjoying yourself, blend fruits and make them to juice. You can also take a walk and listen to music.


    The effects of some harmful medications cannot be over emphasized. Do not take the following drugs without a consulting your doctor or pharmacist.

    • Alcohol base drugs
    • Androgen and testosterone by products
    • Valproic acid
    • Tetracycline
    • Vitamin A and its by products like Isotretinoin, etretinate or retinol
    • Lead
    • Lithium
    • Phenytoin
    • Carbamazepines
    • Trimethadione and paramethadione
    • Streptomycin and kanamycin
    • Thalidomide
    • Organic mercury
    • Cocaine
    • Antifolic acids drugs (like methotrexate or aminopterin)
    • Coumarine by products (like marfarine)
    • Diethylstilbestrol (DES)
    • Angiotensin converting enzymes inhibitors like enalapril or captopril.


    1. Harmful Agents: Planning your Pregnancy and Birth, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Third edition, Pages 98- 105.
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