Risks of Consuming Alcohol During Pregnancy

Submitted by Nick on January 18, 2012

Pregnancy is a memorable and rewarding experience every mother goes through however there are a lot of sacrifices that need to be made when pregnant. Many pregnant women often ask their doctors if it is fine for them to have an occasional glass of wine during pregnancy. What pregnant women need to understand is that no level of alcohol is considered safe during pregnancy. If a pregnant woman drinks alcohol it passes to her fetus through the placenta. The immature fetus takes time to break down the alcohol it receives as a result the level of alcohol in the blood is high for a long time.


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Risks Of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

This causes lifelong damage to the baby. Drinking alcohol can cause many complications to unborn baby and excessive alcohol consumption during pregnancy can lead to miscarriages, still birth and premature deliveries. Recent surveys conducted prove that the pregnant women drinking alcohol and binge drinking have increased and many women who binge drink had miscarriages or gave birth to premature babies.

One of the biggest hazards of drinking alcohol during pregnancy is that it causes fetal alcohol spectrum disorders more commonly known as FASD. FADS refers to a lot of disorders that can take place in babies and children who are exposed to alcohol. It could refer to problems with physical or mental behavior as well as learning disabilities.

Some of the common fetal alcohol disorders are:

  • Alcohol related neural developmental disorder commonly known as ARND. This disorder results in functional or cognitive impairments.
  • Alcohol related birth defects also known as ARBD. This results in birth defects such as problems with the heart, kidney and other organs and a deformed skeleton.
  • Fetal alcohol effects also known as FAE is one of the more commonly known disorders. FAE is a term used to describe several different conditions that do not meet the full criteria for fetal alcohol syndrome.
  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome also called FAS causes physical and neurological defects. This leads to defected or abnormal facial features, slow physical development, a small head and slow intellectual development. The slow intellectual development is caused due to the slow development of the brain. Very often the damage to the nervous system, the brain and spinal cord can occur in the initial weeks before a woman even knows she is pregnant.

Many people may say the occasional drink is fine however with so many risks it is best avoided during pregnancy.

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