The Effects of Drinking and Smoking While Pregnant
The most disgusting thing in this world in my opinion, is when a pregnant woman
drinks or smokes. Women who drink during their pregnancy don't know that alcohol
can fatally harm the unborn baby. Most of these women drink during their pregnancy
with out any knowledge of the consequences. 'An estimated 40,000 babies are born each
year in the United States with alcohol-related birth defects. The actual figures may be
higher.'(Poisoned in the womb, p.53) The baby can be born with a lot of different kinds
of birth defects. Women, who drink very heavily during their pregnancy, have babies
that are born with Fetus Alcohol Syndrome.
Drinking alcohol can lead to the baby's slow brain development, mental
retardation, face deformities, and even death. 'Premature birth was associated with
alcohol consumption during pregnancy.'(Alcohol and the fetus, p.41) The reasons for
the mother's drinking might be peer pressure at parties or social events, age or
occupation. It is very hard to take care of the baby that is born with FAS. The effects of
the alcohol will basically last for life.
?Fetus Alcohol Syndrome, described by American researchers in 1973, is the
most severe form of alcohol-induced malformation.? (Poisoned in the womb, p. 44)
?Fetus Alcohol Syndrome is one of the three leading causes of mental retardation.?
(Poisoned in the womb, p.49) It is very hard to take care of babies with birth
defects. They will remain in intensive care for weeks or months after their birth. Their
nervous system is severely damaged, and it is hard to calm them down when they are
crying. Sometimes they become irritated to a touch, or they could become completely
withdraw and show no emotions to their caretaker. It is very hard to feed them. Their
brain development is very slow. Parents who were expected to have a laughing and
healthy baby, become disappointed. The difficulties to care for these babies lead to
neglect or abuse.
?Family stresses, including those related to alcohol abuse, may lead to abuse and
neglect and further add to the problems of the affected children.? (Poisoned in the womb,
p. 540) Parents get mentally frustrated and physically tired of taking care of the baby.
There are more fights and arguments going on in these families. The parents will turn to
alcohol to escape the problems of their world. The baby will be neglected and abused
and that will create even more problems for the baby and the parents. ?Children of