Although some might say a glass of wine each day during pregnancy is safe, the research isn’t conclusion and most experts push that that there is no “safe” amount of alcohol during pregnancy. What a woman consumes during her pregnancy can permanent affect and damage her unborn child for the rest of his or her life. A glass of wine or a beer may not seem like a big deal during pregnancy, but the effects of that alcohol could be devastating.
The baby’s blood alcohol level is higher than the mother’s
What may only feel like a small amount of alcohol to a woman may be enough to get her baby drunk, even if she isn’t feeling a buzz. Alcohol quickly enters the bloodstream and crosses the placenta before entering the baby’s body. An unborn baby is unable to break the alcohol down as quickly as his mother and will have blood alcohol levels much higher than his mother due to this.
Drinking increases the risk of miscarriage and stillbirth
Women who drink alcohol while pregnant are more likely to suffer a miscarriage or stillbirth. A 2008 Danish study suggested that women who drank during pregnancy had a 56% higher chance of delivering a stillborn baby than women who did not drink during pregnancy. The effects of a miscarriage or stillbirth can be devastating and traumatic and the risks can be reduced by not drinking during pregnancy.
Alcohol-related birth defects
Consuming alcohol during pregnancy has been shown to increase the risk of alcohol-related birth defects in a baby. Babies who are born to mothers who drank during pregnancy are more likely to exhibit malformations of the skeleton, organs and defects of the heart, central nervous system, kidneys and auditory system. The risk of these defects are especially high for drinking that took place during the first trimester.
Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS)
A baby born to a mother who drank during her pregnancy may be diagnosed with fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) or a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). A baby who suffers from FAS or FASD may exhibit poor growth, abnormal physical appearance, poor muscle tone, physical and mental development delays, heart defects and other health issues. The problems related to FAS and FASD are life-long and a child may suffer for the rest of his life due to alcohol exposure during pregnancy.
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