Can Unhealthy lifestyle of mother-to-be harm the child?

A woman’s lifestyle has a profound influence on her pregnancy and the foetal environment. Some of the lifestyle-related threats are poor nutrition, substance abuse and lack of physical activity. Not only can these lifestyle choices cause complications to the pregnancy, foetal development and the delivery, but they can also harm the offspring as well.

pregnant women smoking

These are some of the poor lifestyle choices that have serious long-term effects:

  • Improper diet and macronutrient Imbalance

Not many are informed about the impact of macronutrient imbalance. Macronutrients consist of proteins, carbs and fats vital for the developing foetus as well energy needs. To get the necessary amount of nutrients, an expecting mother has to consume foods from these groups like grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts and dairy products. While an inadequate intake of nutrients can impair foetal development, an excessive intake of macronutrients could have long-term consequences as well. Studies suggest that in such imbalances predisposes the foetus to an increased risk of diseases in adulthood.

A pregnant mother’s poor diet habits can be responsible for her child later developing health issues like obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular problems, etc.

  • Obesity

Several studies have found a link between maternal obesity and an increased risk of the offspring being obese during childhood and adulthood. What this means is that the child could be at risk of developing all the negative issues that come with obesity like cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, etc.

  • Smoking

Maternal smoking during pregnancy is linked to many obstetrical, foetal and developmental problems. It also puts the offspring at an increased risk of adverse health consequences during childhood, adolescence or even adulthood. The immediate dangers are a miscarriage, preterm birth, stillbirth and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Mothers who smoked during their pregnancy put their children at risk of developing respiratory issues like wheezing, asthma, bronchitis, impaired lung function, etc.

Effects of Smoking during pregnancy

  • Alcohol

When an expecting mother continues to drink during the pregnancy, she’s putting her baby at risk of several issues like low birth weight, delayed development, heart problems, congenital disabilities and more. Additionally, the child may suffer from foetal alcohol syndrome, which has specific physical characteristics like a smaller head, being shorter and smaller in size than others his/her age etc. Apart from these, the offspring can have cognitive issues like learning disabilities, poor memory, language delays, etc.

  • Drugs

Drug use during pregnancy has been associated with

  • Stillbirth
  • Miscarriage
  • Sudden infant death syndrome
  • Premature birth
  • Congenital disabilities
  • Drug dependency in the baby

It is essential for any woman to adopt a healthy lifestyle even before conception. A proper diet, regular exercise and forsaking substance abuse can help her have a smooth pregnancy and give her offspring the best chance at having a healthy life.

Consult a top Gynaecologist

Copyright © 2018 Modasta. All rights reserved


Email this to someoneShare on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on Facebook
  • Long-term health consequences of poor nutrition during pregnancy—Surg journal – Accessed on 13 May 2018–https://journal.lib.uoguelph.ca/index.php/surg/article/view/421/666
  • Catalano, P.M. & Ehrenberg, H.M. (2006) The short‐ and long‐term implications of maternal obesity on the mother and her offspring. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 113, 1126–1133. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16827826
  • Rodriguez, A., Miettunen, J., Henriksen, T.B. et al. (2008) Maternal adiposity prior to pregnancy is associated with ADHD symptoms in offspring: evidence from three prospective pregnancy cohorts. International Journal of Obesity (London), 32, 550–557.
  • Smoking during pregnancy—American Pregnancy – Accessed on 13 May 2018–http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/smoking-during-pregnancy/
  • Short and long term health effects of parental tobacco smoking during pregnancy and lactation: a descriptive review—NCBI – Accessed on 13 May 2018–https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4608184/
  • Prenatal Alcohol abuse—American Addiction Centers—Accessed on 13 May 2018–https://americanaddictioncenters.org/alcoholism-treatment/dangers-pregnancy/
  • Developmental Consequences of Fetal Exposure to Drugs: What We Know and What We Still Must Learn—NCBI – Accessed on 13 May 2018–https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4262892/
  • Pregnancy and alcohol – American Pregnancy – Accessed on 13 May 2018– http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/pregnancy-and-alcohol/
  • Prenatal Substance Abuse: Short- and Long-term Effects on the Exposed Fetus—AAP—Accessed on 13 May 2018–http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/pediatrics/131/3/e1009.full.pdf
  • Drug Addiction And Babies: Long Term Effects—Drug Rehab—Accessed on 13 May 2018–https://www.drugrehab.org/drug-addiction-and-babies-long-term-effects/


Add a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment

Recommended For You

More On This Category

Our Partners