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We’ve heard a lot about the dangers of smoking and drinking to the growing fetus. What are the dangers of those to the mother’s body during pregnancy?

Tobacco is extremely dangerous to both mother and fetus. It affects their respiratory systems greatly. It puts the mother at greater risk of getting infections and pneumonia, it worsens asthma, and depending on the time of year, these can be greatly increased.

Smoking can affect the mother’s cardiovascular system as well, including how efficiently the heart is pumping. It can also affect skin changes and general wellbeing or mood. Smoke affects the weight of the fetus as well, causing a lot of lowbirth- weight babies. Even though some women may think, “OK, I don’t want to gain a lot of weight during pregnancy” and keep smoking, it actually affects the fetus, not just the mother’s weight.

Alcohol has been well studied. Even small amounts and regular doses can cause fetal alcohol syndrome, which is a horrible outcome for the baby. These are two drugs that are so dangerous to moms and babies.