According to experts, the placenta is not the barrier that it was once thought to be. They say that many drugs and environmental agents can pass through the placenta to the unborn baby. The following are some of the areas of concern during pregnancy.
- All medicines should be avoided except what is prescribed by a midwife or a doctor who knows you are pregnant. If ay health personnel other than your midwife or doctor wishes to prescribe any medicine for you, let him or she knows you are pregnant. Always make sure that you ask about the effect of any medicine or herbal preparations you are taking on pregnancy.
- Alcohol quickly crosses the placenta to your baby. The greatest damage is caused in the first three months of pregnancy and the damage can continue throughout pregnancy and during breastfeeding. Pregnant women who drink excessively can give birth to children with defects known as fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). These defects appear as small brains, defects of the face, poor attention and co-ordination skills and behavioral problems. It is recommended that any women who is pregnant or trying to become pregnant avoid alcohol, smoking and the use of hard drugs should be avoided totally.
- X-rays can affect the unborn baby and woman in the early pregnancy period should inform physicians requiring them to take x-rays.
Source: ministry of health/Ghana health service, reproductive and child health department.