Smoking, Alcohol & Drugs During Pregnancy
All-clear: the all-or-nothing principle in the first few weeks
It is possible that you did not know anything about it at the beginning of your pregnancy and therefore smoked, drank or took substances. Then you can still breathe a sigh of relief!
The so-called all-or-nothing principle applies in the first 14 days after fertilization – according to the doctor’s calculation, these are the first four weeks of pregnancy. This means: You don’t have to worry that your child will be born with health problems if you smoked and drank alcohol during the first 14 days of pregnancy!
ℹ️ Why is that so? In the first five to seven days of pregnancy, the embryo does not yet receive any nutrients from the mother’s blood because the egg has not yet established itself in the uterus. During this period, the fertilized egg may not divide any further for various reasons and – possibly combined with a slight bleeding – it will come off.
Is one at this early stage Cell damaged, she can mostly repaired or replaced by another cell will. If this does not succeed, the fruit dies. That is why one speaks here of the “all or nothing principle”.
Consumption of luxury foods in the further course of early pregnancy
As soon as pregnancy is suspected or known, the woman should Avoid harmful substances.
But even if you have smoked, taken medication or drank alcohol after the two-week period during which the all-or-nothing principle applies, you still have to no reason to despair be! There is no automatism that says that the consumption of stimulants / drugs after implantation will definitely lead to harm to the child.
ℹ️ It is advisable to discuss the risk of harm to the child with experts. Because Often times, even full of fear, one assesses the risk to be much higher than it actually is! For an assessment of your consumption, you can, for example, contact the Center for Embryonic Toxicology, or Embryotox for short. This Charité institute in Berlin offers advice and information on all aspects of pharmaceuticals and the consumption of luxury foods during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Click here for the Homepage of Embryotox.
Experiences from other women
It happens again and again that a woman does not notice her pregnancy, even for months. In these cases, too, the children are usually born healthy all round – even if the woman consumed nicotine and alcohol during the unnoticed pregnancy.
Basically, it can be said that large amounts of alcohol at once can be more harmful than, for example, a beer that has been drunk unknowingly. In any case, it is recommended to use Uncertainties in relation to the consumption of luxury foods / medicines in one’s own pregnancy is the topic of Gynecologist to speak openly.
Smoking during pregnancy
If you smoke cigarettes regularly, you may find it difficult to quit “just like that” … Some women lose their desire to smoke anyway due to hormonal changes and pregnancy-related nausea. But what happens to the child if the mother continues to smoke?
Especially in the first days of pregnancy, the mother has less to worry about. Because at the beginning of pregnancy, when the mother usually does not know anything about it, the above applies All-or-nothing principle.
But: Smoking as the pregnancy progresses can harm the embryo. Even e-cigarettes without nicotine can contain substances that are harmful. When the mother smokes, the pollutants in the cigarette also reach the child. It cannot decide for or against it – it smokes along with it. Miscarriages or premature births are possible and the child can be significantly smaller, lighter and weaker at birth. It is therefore advisable that you definitely try to quit smoking; preferably complete.
ℹ️ One thing is also clear: the dose plays a role. Whether a woman smokes 20 cigarettes a day or just one makes a difference.
- ✅ If you would like to quit smoking but do not know how, or if you would like more detailed information about why it makes sense to give up smoking during pregnancy, the following brochure from the BZgA can help you: Smoke-free during pregnancy.
Alcohol During Pregnancy
As with smoking, the same applies to alcohol: The Consumption later in pregnancy can harm the child.
Why is alcohol harmful to the child?
Mother and child share the same bloodstream. So when the mother consumes alcoholic beverages, the child often has the same alcohol level as well. However, the embryonic organism breaks down alcohol more slowly than an adult human. As a result, the alcohol level in the embryo is increased for longer and the harmful effects of alcohol last longer.
Because the child grows throughout the pregnancy and new cells and organs are formed, the supply of nutrients is particularly important. Substances like alcohol can hinder growth. The consequence of alcohol consumption during pregnancy can be physical, neuronal and psychological undesirable developments and developmental disorders.
How should I deal with alcohol during pregnancy?
It is best not to drink alcohol at all during pregnancy.
If you have had a drink at the beginning of your pregnancy, then, as already described, this applies All-or-nothing rule.
In addition, the dose is relevant and determines the risk. However, that does not mean that there is a specific alcohol limit that applies to pregnant women. Because it can be assumed that harm to the child cannot be ruled out even with smaller amounts of alcohol. The risk is then significantly smaller than with a very large amount of alcohol.
- ✅ Tip: If you want to find out whether your consumption has harmed the child, do the tox test!
Drugs in Pregnancy
In general, you should completely avoid drugs during pregnancy in order to protect the child.
If you have already consumed drugs, the “all-or-nothing principle” may be your first relief. But even if you have taken drugs in the period after the 4th week, you can still take a deep breath. With all drugs is so far no known malformation risk in the narrower sense.
However can regular drug use lead to insufficient blood supply to the placenta, which can lead to miscarriages or premature births. It is also possible that your child has a lower birth weight as a result of continued consumption.
The good news, however, is that most of the time no complications occur when the substances are no longer consumed after pregnancy becomes known.
Drug Addict and Pregnant: There is Hope!
If you are in regular contact with drugs, you are probably wondering how you can handle pregnancy. It is quite possible that you are afraid of harming the child – but you do not know how to stop using drugs.
First of all: it is brave and testifies to your sense of responsibility, that you are now dealing with this topic and looking for support! That can be the first big step towards improving the overall situation.
As a next step, it is advisable that you speak openly with your doctor about this. Because he can decide which substances should be discontinued immediately, which should be replaced by others or which should be taken further in a controlled manner. We carefully weigh what is feasible and possible for you and what harms you and the child as little as possible. By a good medical support there are several ways to reduce the health risks for the child.
If that’s what you want, we would be happy to be by your side in this special situation! We can carefully try together to work out a way how things can go really well for you. Perhaps, little by little, there will even be an opportunity in this situation? A possibility how you can face the challenges of the situation and even emerge stronger from it.
What we can do for you …
It may well be that you are moving very different thoughts and emotions. Maybe you don’t even know how your pregnancy should go on … We are happy to be there for you during this special time – with one open ear, information or simply as an outside, experienced conversation partner.
This is how you can contact us:
- 🍷🚬 You wonder whether your consumption harmed the child Has? With the tox test, you will receive an individual answer from a medical expert.
- ⚖️ Are you concerned with the question “Abortion: yes or no?” – then do the abortion test.
- 🤰 “Am I Pregnant?” – Click here for the online pregnancy test!
After an immediate answer, you can also send a Free and personal evaluation by a consultant receive. The way you want it.
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