Does a slight jerk startle you? Or are you a habitual drug user? If you nod in affirmation, you must be worried about your baby’s safety inside the womb. The baby in the womb is naturally protected against external injuries and internal contaminants. such as toxins from the drugs you use or harmful bacteria. Let’s find out how protected a baby is inside the womb, but before that you must know how your foetus is protected inside the womb. [Read: Drugs to Avoid during Pregnancy]
The mother’s womb is a secure place for a foetus, which guards it against all external agents; be it light, sound or shock and pressure. The utero (womb) is surrounded by thick and strong bones that help it to bear the weight of a developing foetus until its birth. During pregnancy, the ligaments that attach the fundus (top portion of the uterus) to the strong pelvic bones become thicker and longer to provide more stability to the womb. The amniotic fluid, placenta and mucous plug present in the cervix form a protective layer in the womb to guard the baby.
- Amniotic Fluid serves as a cushion to the unborn baby by protecting it against outside injuries, blows, sharp movements, bumps or any pressure on the mother’s tummy. Also, amniotic fluid prevents heat loss from the foetus’s body by regulating the temperature inside the womb.
- Placenta serves as a barrier against internal threats, such as bacteria, drugs and toxic substances present in the mother’s bloodstream.
- Mucous Plug protects the unborn baby from external contaminants, such as bacteria and viruses.
How Protected is a Baby under Certain Conditions?
Drug use— Certain drugs, such as marijuana, cocaine and heroin may reach your foetus through the placenta and hinder the baby’s growth and development. Also, the level of drugs in your bloodstream cut the amount of oxygen that can reach to the foetus. Addiction to illicit drugs may cause preterm labour, low birth weight and foetal alcohol syndrome.
[Watch Video: Premature Birth Complications]
Running— Running is considered safe during pregnancy, however, you should consider your doctor’s advice before you start running. Vigorous running can be physically taxing for an expectant mother and dehydration caused by running may affect blood supply to your baby.
Sports— During pregnancy, activities involving higher risk of falls, such as horse riding, waterskiing, snowboarding, etc should be put on hold. When your baby bump grows, your body’s centre of gravity changes due to which you may find it difficult to balance yourself thus, being prone to falls. Falling during pregnancy may lead to placental abruption, which may cause maternal and foetal death.
If you indulge in contact sports, such as kickboxing, judo or squash, you are at the risk of being hit on the tummy, therefore, you are not advised to be played during pregnancy.
Also abstain from indulging in water sports, such as scuba diving. When you surface while scuba diving, air bubbles may form in the bloodstream and lead to blood clots in your body. This will cut the oxygen supply to the foetus and may result in miscarriage. Amusement rides are another big no-no during pregnancy as the sudden or forceful landing of a ride may break the placenta leading to preterm labour or a halted development of the baby.
Hot tub bath and saunas are also not advised during pregnancy because prolonged stay in hot temperature has been linked to the increased risk of birth defects.
Read more articles on Pregnancy.