Alcohol and pregnancy is a dangerous combination.
If you have any amount of alcohol during pregnancy,let your doctor know.
Many online advice veers towards controversial in this regard.Alcohol is treated as a teratogen by both pediatrician and obstetrician .This information was largely unavailable or ignored for the most of last century.This had a lot to do with government regulation changes and the confusion created by people who promoted moderate alcohol drinking.
Just think would you give your newborn a glass of beer or any other alcoholic beverage?Your answer would be a shocked no.
Your answer would be a shocked no.
But if you are drinking when planning a baby ,or when you are already pregnant.That’s what you are doing.
What happens when you drink ?
When you drink,the alcohol absorbed from your stomach crosses the blood brain barrier.It will then reach your unborn baby.
That’s the main problem.Your baby will taste everything you have.
It will affect the heart ,the brain,the baby muscles,cartilages,everything.
Fetal alcohol syndrome :
It is a collection of problems that your baby can have if you drink during your pregnancy.
Problems range from:
- behaviour and social
Is there a safe amount to drink ?
The data for this is vague.What’s definite is the more you drink ,the worse is the damage.
This study about moderate drinking in pregnancy found increased risk for children’s early-onset-persistent conduct problem
Babies born to mothers who drink have certain developmental issues:
- Growth problems: be smaller than other newborns
- Abnormal facial features:small eyes, flat upper lip
- Neurological problems:microcephaly
- Cardiac septal defects
- Minor joint ,limb problems
Problems in Toddlers whose mother drank during pregnancy:
- May have difficulty following simple instructions
- Delayed developmental milestones
- Unusually stranger friendly
School going children may show the following problems:
- Reading and learning challenges
- Difficulty with being attentive
- Behavioural issues
Teenagers and adults with FAS:
- Mental health challenges:Anxiety, depression
- Difficulty with authority ,at school and law
- Chance of substance abuse increases :Increased risk of alcoholism,drug abuse,smoking
Do FAS effects go away?
Unfortunately no.It just changes how it presents.Every time you don’t drink during pregnancy you are giving your unborn child a gift.
So if you suspect FAS, how can you help?
Monitoring and early intervention can help your child.The earlier your doctor knows the more help baby will get.This can prevent adult problems.
Try to provide support at school.The child may need special education aides.
Social support is also very important .This can go a long way in preventing depression and mental health issues.
How can you prevent FAS?
Don’t drink during pregnancy.Seriously ,prevention is best.
If you used to drink stop now.The exact spectrum of problems will be a sum of how much ,when and how long you have been drinking.If you smoke or use any other substance then the effect can be fatal.
You can join a de-addiction group.
Visit a counsellor.Ask your family/spouse to help
Practice mindfulness meditation.
Small steps can go a long way in keeping your baby healthy.What is your opinion about this.Comment below to let me know.
This post is a part of Dailychatter DAY 12 # Half marathon at The Blog chatter
Disclaimer: This information should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your physician. This is meant to help and spread awareness.There may be variations in treatment that your physician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
1)Moderate alcohol drinking in pregnancy increases risk for children’s persistent conduct problems: causal effects in a Mendelian randomisation study.
2)Prenatal alcohol exposure and childhood behavior at age 6 to 7 years: dose-response effect.
3)Fetal alcohol syndrome. How you can help prevent it.
5)Do attitudes and knowledge predict at-risk drinking among Russian women?Balachova T1, Bard D1, Bonner B1, Chaffin M1, Isurina G2, Tsvetkova L2, Volkova E3.(Pubmed)
6)A Review of the History of Attitudes Toward Drinking in Pregnancy.