Tobacco and alcohol when you are pregnant

Abstain for the sake of your child, it’s a short period in your life – but for a long-term perspective.

Jenny Jansson

2 min read

Reviewed by Jenny Jansson

Certified midwife

Tobacco and alcohol when you are pregnant Photo:Preggers

It’s probably common knowledge nowadays that you shouldn’t drink alcohol and smoke (or snuff) when you are pregnant. Smoking impairs the fetus’ oxygenation and increases the risk of miscarriage. So here you only have one option: stop smoking! Snuff (snus) can also harm the fetus, and studies show that the risk of miscarriage increases by 60% in women who use snus/snuff.

Even when it comes to alcohol, the recommendation is to not drink alcohol if you want to get pregnant or have just discovered that you are pregnant. Then refrain from drinking alcohol for the rest of the pregnancy. The less alcohol the fetus is exposed to, the better. According to experts, the fetus is exposed to harmful substances if the pregnant woman drinks alcohol. Nobody can answer how much the fetus can manage without any permanent damage. Thus, it’s recommended to abstain from alcohol completely during pregnancy.

Tobacco increases the risks for the fetus and the baby in several areas, for example, miscarriage, abnormalities, deformations, premature birth, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS aka cot death or crib death), ADHD, and allergies. When the mother smokes, she inhales the gas carbon monoxide which blocks the red blood cells from absorbing oxygen. The more you smoke the greater the oxygen deficiency. The fetus absorbs twice as much carbon monoxide as the mother and the deadly gas stays longer in the fetus. Nicotine and hundreds of other harmful substances in tobacco smoke are transferred directly to the unprotected and undeveloped fetus.

Abstain from tobacco and alcohol during the entire pregnancy – for your baby’s sake. If it feels like a problem, remember that this is only for a short period of your own life, but you are laying the foundation for your child’s future, and hopefully long life.

Jenny Jansson

Reviewed by Jenny Jansson

Certified midwife