What women need to know
Our way of being healthy is to look after ourselves by making good choices, and to care for our family, community and culture.
Alcohol and other drugs can tangle and weaken our spirit and mind.
This can affect our emotional, social, spiritual and physical wellbeing.
This can weaken our connection to family, community, culture and country.
When we use alcohol and other drugs in harmful ways our spirit becomes weaker and our thinking gets tangled. But if we stop or reduce our use, our spirit can grow strong and our thinking becomes clear again.
- Brain damage, stroke, memory loss, blackouts, hallucinations, fits, confusion, dementia, mental health problems, depression, anxiety and mood swings
- Nervous System
- Tingling, numbness and loss of feeling
- Irregular pulse, high blood pressure, becomes enlarged
- Damaged and swollen, cirrhosis, hepatitis, cancer
- Reduced function and increased infections
- Colon & Rectum
- Chronic coughing and cancer
- Infertility and risk of sexually transmitted infections and blood borne viruses from unsafe sex
- Reduced resistance to infection, coughs, colds, risk of pneumonia and tuberculosis
- Increased risk of cancer
- Weak, loose muscle tissue
- Ulcers, inflammation, vomiting and diarrhoea
- Risk of harm to unborn baby
There is no safe amount of alcohol and other drug use in pregnancy.
When you drink alcohol, so does your baby.
When you use drugs, so does your baby.
When you smoke, so does your baby.
Our children need to be born healthy so they have a a strong spirit and a strong mind.
Quitting cigarettes before or early on in pregnancy provides the greatest benefits for you and your baby.
However, even if you quit at any time during or after pregnancy, there are benefits for you and baby.
Things you can do to protect yourself and children from smoke:
- Avoid smoke and smoking while trying to get pregnant, during pregnancy and whilst breastfeeding.
- Stay away from people who are smoking. Keep children and babies away from smoking areas.
- Don't smoke in the house or the car.
When you are pregnant or breastfeeding, some medicines can be harmful to your baby.
If you are taking medicine, you should ask your doctor or health care worker if the medication is safe to use during pregnancy or whilst breastfeeding.
Never take any prescription drugs that were not prescribed for you by your doctor.
If you are buying medicine from the chemist, tell them you are pregnant or breastfeeding so that they can check if the medicine is safe for you and your baby.
Healthy choices for pregnancy
Not drinking alcohol, smoking tobacco and using drugs is the best choice for your baby. Other things you can do to stay healthy and grow a strong baby include:
- Regular check-ups with your health worker
- Daily exercise or physical activity
- Lots of sleep and rest
- Plenty of healthy food and water
- Yarning with grannies, aunties, mums, sisters, cousins and friends about how to keep your baby strong and healthy
Dads and other family members can make healthy choices too.
Parent Social and Emotional Wellbeing
As a new parent, you may notice differences in your life once baby arrives.
Along with excitement and joy, you may be feeling tired, and overwhelmed.
Many parents go through a lot of different emotions, especially after the baby is born. It is a time of adjustment for you and your baby.
Family and friends can support you to give your baby a strong spirit and strong future.
It is useful to yarn with grandparents, mums, aunties, cousins and friends about ways to keep babies strong and healthy.
Breastfeeding is good for baby and has lots of benefits.
- Protect baby from infection and illness
- Provide baby with healthy food
- Help baby to grow strong
- Strengthen bonds with baby
The best options for breastfeeding are to avoid smoking tobacco, drinking alcohol and using other drugs.
Our children's health and wellbeing is also affected by connection to:
For us to raise strong babies, we need to build up these strong protective factors as they grow.
If you are thinking about reducing your alcohol use you might like some help or information.
If you are worried about somebody and how their alcohol use is affecting you and your family, perhaps you would like some help.
It may not be easy reducing your alcohol use but your friends, family and other people in your community can support you to make changes.
If you would like further information, please head to our services and support page.