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Q My girlfriend is pregnant with our first child. She has given up
alcohol, but she is still smoking cigarettes and marijuana every day.
I am worried it is hurting the baby. She has other children and says
it never made a difference before, and her doctor apparently says
there is no risk. She gets upset when I mention the subject. What can
A I think your girlfriend needs to start being honest with her doctor about how much
she is really smoking: both cigarettes and marijuana. She also should respect that 'our'
child means just that, and you have every right to be concerned. Any drug use in
pregnancy, especially in the early weeks, may affect the baby. THC from marijuana
passes from mother to baby and is stored in the amniotic fluid baby floats in before
birth. Studies show both THC and tobacco cause premature labour and low birth
weight. Low birth weights are associated with breathing problems and infections.
Carbon monoxide and nicotine in tobacco both pass very easily to the baby through
the placenta and can cause problems with growth and development by reducing
oxygen in the mother's blood. Research also indicates smoking increases the risk of cot
death. Expectant mums should at least try to reduce smoking, the earlier in pregnancy
the better. Keep in mind some THC will also pass through the breast milk to the baby
and the baby may become unsettled and demand frequent feeding.
Q My girlfriend has really bad BO, even in winter. She washes
regularly but normal deodorants don't do anything for her. Any ideas?
A Lots of things influence the way our bodies smell. Firstly, there are pheromones,
genetically determined chemicals found in sweat, which sexually attract (or repel) other
people. Then waste products are excreted through our skin. Just think of standing next
to a drunk on a bus on a hot day. It's too easy to forget the old saying, 'We are what
we eat.' What we put into our bodies makes as big an impact on body odour as what
we put on it. Certain substances like garlic, some medications and B vitamins smell
particularly strong when excreted in sweat. Stale alcohol and cigarette smoke create
their own peculiar bouquet. Further smells are produced by the bacteria living on our
skin feasting on dead skin cells and sweat, and finally there's the impact of unwashed,
or unforgiving, clothing. Synthetic fabrics and footwear increase sweating so go for
natural fibres and leather or open shoes. A healthy diet with lots of vegetables, fruit,
lean meat, and wholemeal bread is essential. Cut out sugary foods and drink plenty
of water to dilute excretions and prevent constipation. A short cleansing fast on diluted
vegetable or fruit juices for a day or two could be a good place to start. Alternatively,
try a powdered combination of one to two teaspoons of sprouted barley, wheat grass,
alfalfa and chlorella in a glass of water each morning. Follow up with a second glass
of water and repeat between meals to help flush impurities from the body. Diluted fresh
lemon juice has a similar cleansing effect.
LOTL'S health columnist is a lesbian GP on the NSW north coast.
The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and
are not intended as a substitute for medical advice. If you have
concerns about your health please consult your health practitioner.
CARBON MONOXIDE AND NICOTINE IN TOBACCO
BOTH PASS VERY EASILY TO THE BABY THROUGH THE
PLACENTA AND CAN CAUSE PROBLEMS WITH
GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT
WHAT WE PUT INTO OUR BODIES MAKES AS BIG AN
IMPACT ON BODY ODOUR AS WHAT WE PUT ON IT.
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B.Ec. Ll.B (Hons). Dipl. Anal. Psych (Zurich) IAAP
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