Here’s Why ‘To-Be Parents’ Should Avoid Drinking Alcohol

When couples are trying for a baby, men should not consume alcohol for at least six months before fertilisation while women should stop alcohol one year before and avoid it during pregnancy

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Alcohol
Binge drinking of Alcohol by would-be parents is a high risk and dangerous behaviour that not only may increase the chance of their baby being born with a heart defect, but also greatly damages their own health. Pixabay

Researchers have found that drinking Alcohol three months before pregnancy or during the first trimester was associated with a 44 per cent raised risk of congenital heart disease for fathers and 16 per cent for mothers.

Binge drinking, defined as five or more drinks per sitting, was related to a 52 per cent higher likelihood of birth defects for men and 16 per cent for women.

Both aspiring parents should avoid drinking alcohol ahead of conception to protect against congenital heart defects, according to the study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

“Binge drinking by would-be parents is a high risk and dangerous behaviour that not only may increase the chance of their baby being born with a heart defect, but also greatly damages their own health,” said study author Jiabi Qin, from Central South University in China.

The results suggested that when couples are trying for a baby, men should not consume alcohol for at least six months before fertilisation while women should stop alcohol one year before and avoid it during pregnancy.

Alcohol
Researchers have found that drinking Alcohol three months before pregnancy or during the first trimester was associated with a 44 per cent raised risk of congenital heart disease for fathers and 16 per cent for mothers. Pixabay

For the study, the researchers compiled the best data published between 1991 and 2019, which amounted to 55 studies including 41,747 babies with congenital heart disease and 297,587 without.

The analysis showed that a nonlinear dose-response relationship between parental alcohol drinking and congenital heart diseases.

“We observed a gradually rising risk of congenital heart diseases as parental alcohol consumption increased. The relationship was not statistically significant at the lower quantities,” Qin said.

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Regarding specific defects, the study found that compared to abstinence, maternal drinking was correlated to a 20 per cent greater risk of tetralogy of Fallot, a combination of four abnormalities in the heart’s structure. (IANS)

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Smoking: Its Ill effects On Fertility and Child Birth

Smoking and tobacco use can have a serious impact on fertility and consequently the quality of life in pregnancy

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Smoking
Smoking increases miscarriage rates in women. Pixabay

BY SIDDHI JAIN

Smoking and tobacco use can have a serious impact on the fertility of both men and women, and consequently the quality of life in pregnancy. These health tips by expert can help. If a woman is a regular smoker, then it has a double effect on a woman’s fertility. Smoking can harm both the eggs and the uterus. It not only affects her egg quality, but can also have endometrial effect. Many studies too have shown that smoking can have negative effects on fertility, notes Dr Apurva Satish Amarnath, Fertility Consultant, Nova IVF Fertility.

“In women, smoking decreases in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intrauterine insemination (IUI) pregnancy rates by about half. Smoking also increases miscarriage rates. smoking also reduces the egg reserve of the woman which is not a reversible condition. For instance, if we are to compare two women with the same characteristics in terms of egg quality, quantity, BMI, AMH-level, among others, the chances are that the non-smoking woman will conceive faster than the smoking woman. If a woman quits smoking completely, then the chances of conception improve and the risk of miscarriage reduces,” Dr Apurva told IANSlife ahead of the International Anti-Tobacco Day on May 31.

From the male’s perspective, the carcinogen quality of cigarettes in general affects the motility of the sperm and excessive smoking can lead to the poor sperm count and other fertility problems. As compared to females, the condition can be reversible.

If a man completely gives up smoking the quality of his sperms can improve, resulting in his fertility improving in a span of 3-6 months after quitting completely, she said.

Smoking
Smoking and tobacco use can have a serious impact on fertility. Pixabay

Smoking during pregnancy

According to Dr Sandeep Chadha, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologist at Motherhood Hospital, Noida, smoking during pregnancy are dangerous for both mother and the baby.

If a mother smokes, the 4,000 harmful chemicals present in each cigarette passes directly to the baby through the mother’s bloodstreams. In such cases, the risk of stillbirth and miscarriage goes up besides an increased risk of low birth weight, baby’s heart rate, breathing problem and premature delivery, Dr Sandeep told IANSlife.

These risks to the baby multiply with the number of cigarettes smoked during pregnancy. Not only for babies, but tobacco smoking is also harmful to the mother, increasing her risk of cancers, cardiovascular disease, emphysema, and other conditions.

Passive smoking and childbirth

A study has presented that exposure to secondhand smoke was associated with lower IQs in children. For babies exposed to secondhand smoke, there is an increase in risk for developing asthma attacks, breathing problems, ear infections, impaired lung development, and coughing.

Smoking tobacco
Smoking tobacco decreases in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intrauterine insemination (IUI) pregnancy rates. Pixabay

Children exposed to secondhand smoke require more ear tube surgeries than those who are not exposed. Sudden infant death syndrome is more common in babies born to women who smoked during pregnancy as well as in babies exposed to secondhand smoke. Exposure to second-hand smoking by pregnant mothers is similar to first hand smoking.

Also Read: Patients of 80% COVID-19 Cases in India Exhibit Nil or Mild Symptoms: Health Minister

If you are planning to conceive, it’s better for the couple to kick the butt as early as possible. (IANS)

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Tips to Overcome Pandemic Effects During Pregnancy

Pregnant women should stay healthy, calm and safe during pregnancy in current times

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Pregnancy might be a little more difficult compared to the earlier times because of the ongoing pandemic. Pixabay

As social distancing and staying at home have become the “new normal” in the current scenario, it is important during pregnancy to keep a calm mind, continue their checkups with doctors on online sessions, and be open about their concerns, say experts according to Health Tips.

“With all the uncertainty around, one of the best things that you can do is be positive and practice ways that will help ensure your and your baby’s well-being,” said Dr. Prathibha Babshet, Ayurveda Expert, R&D, The Himalaya Drug Company.

“This is possible by taking care of your mental health and keeping a calm mind. Pregnancy during the pandemic is certainly hard but not impossible. It is advisable to stay home as much as possible to avoid crowded spaces and follow social distancing and hygiene guidelines,” she said.

While pregnancy care may look a little different now than it used to earlier, here are a few tips to approach these changes:

Try to establish a daily routine of activities in a way that it becomes a new normal in your life. From your diet, meditation, and yoga, to skin care, getting adequate sleep, and regular medical checkups, make a list of all the things you do in a day and prioritise them.

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Establish a daily routine and schedule for yourself. Pixabay

If you need to step out for work or a checkup, remember to maintain social distancing and wear a mask and carry a sanitizer, as this can help reduce the risk of exposure to germs and bacteria.

Frequent checkups during pregnancy is vital for the mother and baby. So, check with your gynaecologist on online sessions for these checkups. If you are due to deliver, understand and be open about the delivery options and post-natal care.

As pregnancy skin care is an important aspect of your motherhood phase, include massages and moisturisation in your daily routine to help deal with common pregnancy skin concerns, Babshet said.

Indulge in a soothing massage using a massage oil; this will help promote blood circulation. You can also opt for a body butter that will help with dry skin issues. Whatever routine you follow, do remember to use products containing herbal actives and that are free from chemicals, she added.

Your baby gets nutrients from what you eat. Avoid binge-eating. Make it a priority to stick to a balanced diet including fruits and vegetables, and drink at least 8-10 glasses of water.

Pregnancy
One should take extra care of their diet during pregnancy and take balanced diet for the good health of the offspring. Pixabay

If you enjoy cooking, look up simple recipes online for a healthy immune system.

Manage your stress in different ways — practice breathing exercises to calm yourself and indulge in new hobbies or rediscover old ones. You can also take online courses on playing an instrument, learning a new language, or anything you have always wanted to do. You may also enjoy planning things for your baby’s arrival, like decorating a nursery.

Also Read: Ways to go Sustainable While Maintaining Menstrual Hygiene

Talk to your doctor if you are anxious about your baby being exposed to the virus during breastfeeding. Always clean your nipple area before and after breastfeeding. Sanitise your hands, and the place around your baby, frequently.

In addition to following these tips, read and be aware of the potential symptoms of the virus and take preventive measures.

Avoid reading negative news about the current situation, which might cause anxiety.

Instead, use the screen time to talk to your friends and family, or watch something you enjoy. This will keep you happy and occupied. (IANS)

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Scientists Identify 29 New Genes Linked To Drinking Problems

Scientists have identified 29 new genetic variants linked to problem drinking

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Scientists spot 29 new genes behind problem drinking. Pixabay

Scientists have identified 29 new genetic variants linked to problem drinking, tripling the number of known genetic risks associated with alcohol disorders.

The team from Yale University in the US identified the new variants after a genome-wide analysis of more than 435,000 people.

“The new data triple the number of known genetic risk loci associated with problematic alcohol use,” said study senior author Joel Gelernter from Yale University in the US.

In genetics, a locus (plural loci) is a specific, fixed position on a chromosome where a particular gene or genetic marker is located. The study, published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, includes genome-wide analysis of people of European ancestry contained in four separate biobanks or datasets.

“This gives us ways to understand causal relations between problematic alcohol use traits such as psychiatric states, risk-taking behaviour, and cognitive performance,” said study lead author Hang Zhou. “With these results, we are also in a better position to evaluate the individual-level risk for problematic alcohol use,” Gelernter noted.

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A team from Yale University has identified new variants liked to drinking after a genome-wide analysis of more than 435,000 people. Pixabay

For the study, the researchers looked for shared genetic variants among those who met criteria for problematic alcohol use, including alcohol use disorder and alcohol use with medical consequences.

The analysis found 19 previously unknown independent genetic risk factors for problematic alcohol use and confirmed 10 previously identified risk factors. The information allowed researchers to study shared genetic associations between problematic drinking and disorders such as depression and anxiety.

Also Read: The Forgotten Indo-China War

They also found genetic heritability of these variants was enriched in the brain and in evolutionarily conserved regulatory regions of the genome, attesting to their importance in biological function. (IANS)

Here’s Why ‘To-Be Parents’ Should Avoid Drinking Alcohol
Smoking: Its Ill effects On Fertility and Child Birth
Tips to Overcome Pandemic Effects During Pregnancy
Scientists Identify 29 New Genes Linked To Drinking Problems