When a woman is pregnant or trying to become pregnant, it is very important for her to lead a healthy life.
Eating nourishing food and getting plenty of rest and exercising regularly is advised. It is also vital that she avoid anything that might harm her or her baby to be, such as alcohol, tobacco and certain drugs.

All illegal drugs such as heroin, cocaine and marijuana are exceptionally dangerous to a pregnant woman. Legal substances, such as alcohol and tobacco are also dangerous and even medical drugs, both prescription and over the counter can be harmful. It is important to get the advice of a medical professional before taking any medication or remedy. If you do drink alcohol, use tobacco or any other substance, now is a good time to make changes and try to quit.

Substance can be dangerous when used at any time during pregnancy, others, however are particularly damaging at specific stages.

The stage of prenatal growth and organ formation: During this stage some drugs and alcohol in particular can cause malformations in parts of the developing foetus such as the heart, limbs and facial features. Certain substances may damage parts of the foetus that are still developing throughout pregnancy such as the eyes and the nervous system. They can also increase the risk of miscarriage and premature delivery.

The stage of birth: Substances may make delivery more difficult and dangerous, or they may create health problems for the newborn baby. Babies exposed to large amounts of alcohol can develop ‘Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder’, which can include a range of physical and mental defects such as facial abnormalities, learning disabilities and restricted growth.

We all want the best for our children but making changes to a habit or an addiction can be hard, especially at times of stress. It is important to be honest about your substance use, inform medical practitioners and try to get help to cut down or quit.

For more information on the dangers of substance abuse, or to seek support for yourself, friend or family member, contact BOSASNet on 395 9119 or 72659891. You can find us on Facebook or at

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