A poll carried out on over 2,000 British women aged 18 and over who had given birth in the last year and a half has revealed behaviours and attitudes displayed during pregnancy.
Shockingly, one in ten women surveyed said that they don’t believe getting drunk will do any harm to their unborn baby. A further 20% said that they did drink while pregnant but stuck to the recommended guidelines.
10% admitted to smoking while pregnant which is something doctor’s urge women to cut out completely because it affect’s the baby’s heart and makes it work faster. It also affects the development of the baby’s brain, increases the risk of stillbirth and the risk of the baby being born underweight which can lead to problems later on in life.
Almost half of the women questioned (44%) said that they drank more caffeine than what is recommended (two mugs of instant coffee per day). Whilst this doesn’t seem anywhere near as bad as smoking and drinking alcohol, high levels of caffeine during pregnancy can also result in babies having a low birth weight.
More than a third also revealed that they ate foods that doctors generally advise against during pregnancy including rare meats, certain cheeses, unpasteurised milk and raw shellfish. Doctors recommend avoiding such foods because they can cause food poisoning and they contain certain bacteria, chemical or parasites that can harm an unborn baby.
When asked about why they took part in such behaviours while carrying a baby, almost half said that they didn’t think it would harm their unborn child in any way. More than a third said it was because they simply couldn’t go without and more than one in 10 said that they were pressured into doing so by others.
Despite the fact that 91% of respondents said that they felt judged for carrying out these behaviours while pregnant, more than half said that they would do the same things again in future pregnancies.
What do you think can be done to help change these attitudes and behaviours amongst expectant mothers? Should doctors get tougher with their patients or should there be more awareness about the dangers? Let us know your thoughts on our Facebook or Twitter page.