Emotions can run the gamut during pregnancy. Hormone levels change during pregnancy as they do with other changes a woman experiences, which may greatly affect your emotions. These “mood swings” caused by increased hormone levels can make you laugh one moment and cry the next. Being aware of these changes will help you and your partner better cope with these changes when they occur.
- Cocaine (and crack) deprive the fetus of food and oxygen vital to proper development. It can also cause premature births. In the mother, this drug can also cause high blood pressure and heart rate.
- Heroin use puts a woman at increased risk for hepatitis, AIDS and miscarriage. It can also cause babies to be stillborn. If a fetus survives heroin use in the womb, the baby can still be born mentally retarded, with long-term learning disabilities and behavioral problems. Heroin can also contribute to the increased chance of SIDS.
- Amphetamine use during pregnancy can cause birth defects. It also affects the baby’s heart, brain, liver, bones, stomach, kidneys and intestines. These babies can also be low-birth weight babies and have ten times greater risk of SIDS. As these babies get older, learning disabilities can also appear.
If you are pregnant or considering becoming pregnant and are using any of these items or alcohol, please don’t be ashamed to speak with your physician about this immediately.
Other cautions during pregnancy
- Avoid aerosols, insecticides and paint, as these can enter the bloodstream and pass to the baby
- Avoid eating raw meat and prolonged exposure to cat feces when pregnant as they both can carry “toxoplasmosis”, an infection which can cause birth defects. If you handle a cat, wash your hands thoroughly. Wear gloves while gardening to avoid touching cat feces.
- If you feel you are getting a cold or flu, check your temperature twice daily, if it goes over 100°F call your physician; increase your fluid intake and rest; maintain balanced nutrition and use a cool-mist humidifier when sleeping.
- You should also call your obstetrician if your cough, congestion or sore throat continues for more than 24 hours or if you feel that you may need to use medication for your illness.
The care you receive throughout your pregnancy is important to the health and well-being of both yourself and your baby. It is also important to the physicians at Albany OB-GYN that you receive good care during your pregnancy. If you have further questions concerning how you can take better care of yourself and your unborn child, please feel free to ask.